News of “State Theatre acquired by New World Development” Tops the List
Since COVID-19 stroke the city last year, Hong Kong entered an extended dark period on stage. Not only did the pandemic affect the livelihood of the arts sectors, it has also changed the habits and formed a “new normal” for the music industry. Results of the “2020 Top 10 Music Headlines”, an annual project organized by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) Radio 4, are unveiled today (16 January). Among the 21 nominations, news on “New World Development has acquired the ownership of the State Theatre. The developer has agreed to preserve the building, restore it and it will be reborn as a cultural centre as in the days of Isaac Stern and Benjamin Britten.” tops the list with 66.1% of votes. Some historic sites have been transformed into cultural sites in the city in recent years, providing opportunities and exposures for local artists. Music critic Oliver CHOU said in the news’ audio description that he was happy to see Hong Kong East having its own cultural centre in the near future, one that is the oldest in the city.
Other notable music headlines include: “The habits of the music industry have changed under the pandemic such as teaching and having competitions and examinations online, more virtual performances, live streaming of concerts, cancellation of intermissions, changes to concert starting times and use of partitions screens.” and “The HK Chinese Orchestra publishes what is to be the first book on the know-how of conducting a Chinese orchestra. Based on a decade of masterclasses and competitions, the book will put HK on the world map of Chinese orchestras.”. These rank second and third with 62.4% and 60.9% of votes respectively.
Now in its 35th year, “Top 10 Music Headlines” reviews important local music happenings in the past year. This year, a shortlist of 21 items of music news was nominated by professionals in the music and cultural scene. These items were selected based on their influence on cultural and academic development in Hong Kong. Newsworthiness is a secondary consideration. Listeners were then invited to vote online from 1 to 10 January 2021. Voting by the public accounted for 60% of the final results and by professional critics, 40%.
Voting results will be announced on Radio 4’s (FM 97.6 – 98.9) “Top 10 Music Headlines” today (16 January) at noon and on the same programme in Cantonese on the following day (17 January) at 8pm. Both programmes will be archived on RTHK’s website (radio4.rthk.hk) and the RTHK Mine App. For final results, photos and detailed audio descriptions of all nominated news, please visit the “2020 Top 10 Music Headlines” special webpage (rthk.hk/musicheadlines2020).