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The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Composer-in-Residence


Fung Lam


Fung Lam

“... this 9-minute piece ... showed that this 33-year-old Hong Kong-born composer has a distinctive voice. Needing no special pleading, it trod an assured path through a conventionally tonal landscape, with bright woodwind phrases penetrating gentle washes of colour, and string textures of seductive warmth and transparency. For much of its length it felt more like the suggestion of lyricism than the thing itself, but its climax had a Mahlerian lusciousness ...”

The Independent on Endless Forms


“It’s a slowly morphing, 12-minute piece that, in most young composers’ hands, would sound as if it was wandering around a room with no exit, but Lam shows an instinctive feel for when to nudge things along. Using minimal harmonic and melodic material, the elemental shifts came right on cue to sustain attention.”

South China Morning Post on Illumination


“There were some excellent scores, including ... Inner Light by Fung Lam ... (a) thoughtful and effective piece ...”

Asian Music Festival Final Report, Chou Wen-Chung, composer,
on Inner Light - Homage to Mark Rothko


Served as the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Composer-in-Residence with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in 2013, Fung Lam first came to attention in 2005 when the BBC Philharmonic under James MacMillan gave the world premiere of his orchestral work Illumination, which was subsequently performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra and Manhattan School of Music Symphony. He holds the distinction of being the youngest Chinese composer (and the first from Hong Kong) to be commissioned by the BBC, when, in 2007, he was invited to write a work for the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unlocking, which took inspiration from an exhibition of locks at the Victoria and Albert Museum, was given its premiere under Charles Hazlewood, who also explored the work in detail in BBC Radio 3’s Discovering Music. Its Asian premiere was given by the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Perry So in 2011. A second BBC commission quickly followed: the miniature BE (2008) was heard at the Southbank Centre performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra. In 2009 his work Yong (“Surge”) was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under François-Xavier Roth and, the following year, at the Asian Music Festival by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of the composer. A commission for the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Rong (“Harmony”), was given its premiere at the World Expo Shanghai in 2010 under Edo de Waart. His third BBC commission, the Darwinian influenced Endless Forms, received its world premiere at the BBC Proms in 2012 at the Royal Albert Hall, by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo. In 2014 his second commission for the Hong Kong Philharmonic, was premiered under Jaap van Zweden.

Fung Lam studied composition with Martin Butler, Michael Finnissy and Michael Zev Gordon at the universities of Southampton and Sussex in UK, and was awarded a DPhil in composition from the latter in 2012. In the same year he received the Young Artist Award from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

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