Chew Hee-chiat

Chew Hee Chiat

Assistant Artistic Director and Resident Conductor

Assistant Artistic Director and Resident Conductor of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Chew joined the HKCO in 2002 as Assistant Conductor and has served as Assistant Artistic Director and Resident Conductor since September 2022. Chew plays an active and diverse role that covers conducting, arranging and orchestrating for its numerous concerts, he is also committed to the cross-disciplinary cooperation between Chinese music and other different sectors and media, including ‘Hins Cheung X HKCO’ in November 2021.In April 2018, Chew conducted the ‘Listening to Nature’ concert, which had brought the music of Malaysia rainforest into Chinese music as the Orchestra invited a Sape master, who was also a traditional dancer, from Malaysia to join the performance, showing the fusion of Chinese music and arts of the world.

Chew made his debut in The Hong Kong Drum Festival concert in 2007. Since then he has conducted the Festival concerts for over 10 consecutive years. His work Let the Thunder of Drums Roll VII becomes the Festival standard repertoire, which engages the audiences in the performances together with the artistsand the Orchestra.

Conducting aside, Chew is a renowned and award-winning composer as well. His works have characteristic features that demonstrate his Southeast Asian cultural heritage. His work Harken Back toZhou is selected as one of the ‘100 Chinese Music Classics Select’ by HKCO. He was second runner up in the International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Compositions 2000 (HK) and winner of the Outstanding Composition Award in the Chinese Music Competition 2002 organised by the Council for Cultural Affairs in Taiwan. Chew received lessons in composition from Saw Boon Kiat and Qian Zhaoxi before he graduated from the Southeast Missouri State University with a double bachelor’s degree in cello performance and computer science, and the University of South Carolina with a Master of Music degreein orchestral conducting. On returning home to Malaysia, he began his career in Chinese music conducting, and was the Music Director of the Professional Cultural Center Orchestra of Malaysia. 

Chew is also committed to the education and perpetuation of Chinse music. Since 2011, Chew has been giving lectures for The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts on Chinese orchestral conducting. In 2003 to 2010, he was the conductor of the Hong Kong Junior Chinese Orchestra. Chew has also hosted many bilingual workshops to introduce Chinese music to audiences in Hong Kong and internationally.