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Leanne Nicholls, founder and artistic director

Leanne Nicholls, founder and artistic director

Founder, Artistic Director and Principal Oboist of the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Leanne Nicholls has been involved in performing, teaching and programming classical music in Hong Kong for more than 25 years. She studied oboe with Czech oboe virtuoso Jiri Tancibudek in Australia and with Hans Elhorst in Germany, and voice with Gwenneth Annear. She holds a Bachelor Degree in music with First Class Honours in performance from The University of Adelaide and is the recipient of numerous prizes including First Prize at the 1988 Adelaide Eisteddfod Non-Keyboard Competition and the Selborne Moutray Russell Exhibition Scholarship Prize for voice.

Leanne Nicholls began her orchestral career at the age of eighteen and has performed as an oboist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Chamber Orchestra, the State Opera Orchestra of South Australia, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Macao Orchestra and from 1993 to 1999 she was a core member of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Since 2001 she founded Wind Bags, an educational programme which introduces woodwind instruments to primary school children in Hong Kong schools. As a vocalist she has performed with the RTHK Singers, and is the voice behind the Phonics Fun series which sells internationally through Pearson Education. On stage she has performed the roles of Gilmer in Schwartz’s Godspell, Mrs Noye’s Gossip in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and Miss Orb in Bug Symphony. Her voice can also be heard as a host for programmes and concerts on RTHK Radio 4. Leanne Nicholls moved to Hong Kong in 1989 and founded the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong (CCOHK) in 1999. She has successfully created and produced numerous crossover programmes combining the orchestra with Flamenco, Tango, Scottish and Irish artists and children’s programmes with film, story-tellers, actors, dancers and children as soloists. As playwright and lyricist she created the musical Bug Symphony and produced the world premiere of the work in 2015. In 2009 she was awarded a commendation certificate by the Secretary for Home Affairs of the Hong Kong SAR Government for her outstanding contributions to the development of arts and cultural activities.

”She found a ‘cultural desert’ and spent 20 years making it bloom” South China Morning Post
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