Promote Cross-cultural Collaboration of Music Internationally

Our Story

Juilliard-trained siblings Chui-Inn and Trey Lee launched Musicus Society in 2010 with a group of music lovers. They sought to foster cross-cultural artistic collaboration and provide much-needed performance opportunities for young Hong Kong musicians to work with respected masters. The genesis of the operation commands while Chui-Inn Lee was six-month pregnant and corresponding with her brother Trey across time zone from Hong Kong to Berlin. With Chui-Inn’s executive leadership skills and award-winning cellist Trey Lee’s artistic vision, they have built a multi-faceted artistic community with an international reach.

Bringing music to more places and more audiences
For the first three years of its existence, Musicus operated from a desk in a borrowed space to host individual projects that featured overseas orchestras. It was during its very first year, while Trey was touring Asia with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, that the siblings brought the orchestra to a local school, so that students could learn from and perform side-by-side with renowned orchestra members. This memorable experience planted the seed for Musicus Inspires!, an educational program which continues to cultivate Hong Kong students of all social backgrounds and inspire them to become leaders in the arts someday.

In its second year, Musicus again worked with the Munich Chamber Orchestra. This time, they commissioned a new work titled The Blazing Mirage from acclaimed composer Bright Sheng for Trey and the orchestra, inspired by the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dunhuang Caves in China. The success of this endeavor prompted Musicus to look at Hong Kong’s own history and stories. Specifically, they revisited Trey’s pioneering idea in 2007, prior to Musicus being founded, when he performed at the city’s Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum with a program recounting the history of the building. Musicus would then elaborate the idea as Musicus Heritage, which launched in 2013 as an ongoing innovative series that pair world-class musicians with local young artists to perform in diverse locations while telling the heritage stories of Hong Kong.

As part of their drive to enrich the local classical and contemporary music scene, the pair started to give opportunities to young Hong Kong composers whose works resonate with Trey’s curatorial acumen. This original impetus later gave birth to the Call for Scores competition under Musicus Inspires!, which encourages participants to include the rich heritage of Chinese culture and instruments in new commissions inspired by the historical settings of local heritage sites.

Promoting Cross-cultural Collaboration of Music Internationally
Musicus hosted its inaugural Musicus Fest in 2013, which brought together aspects from Musicus Inspires! and Musicus Heritage in an annual celebration of world-class musicianship and education throughout Hong Kong and abroad. The following year, Musicus received the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Springboard Grant and garnered support from its Honorary Patron Mr Tung Chee Hwa, which enabled Musicus Fest to grow further.

Both Musicus Heritage and Musicus Inspires! developed into separate year-round programs: Musicus Heritage is now a chamber music series held at various unique heritage venues, while Musicus Inspires! has expanded to include the Young Artist Audition to offer opportunities for Hong Kong musicians studying or pursuing early-stage professional careers anywhere in the world. To continue its tradition from the days of Munich Chamber Orchestra, Musicus Inspires! offers Ensemble Training each year for music students to perform side-by-side with an overseas orchestra, and School Visits to bring celebrated musicians to perform at schools.
Meanwhile, Musicus Fest has grown to feature a wide-ranging program and establish partnerships in mainland China, Canada and Finland to provide Hong Kong talents performance opportunities around the world. Now thriving with a team of full-time staff, Musicus most recently launched Musicus Soloists Hong Kong (MSHK), an elite ensemble featuring some of the best young Hong Kong artists, with lauded appearances locally and around the world.

Projects like these are testament to our effort to become an international music organization presenting quality performances and world-class home-grown artists, and reflect how Musicus Society maintains a global outlook without losing sight of its roots, community and the love of music.