initiatives & Programmes
In 2011, First Initiative Foundation and the Lang Lang International Music Foundation partnered to establish the Young Scholars Programme. The programme aims to provide talented young pianists with the opportunity to learn from one of the best pianist and performer in the world.
Lang Lang Young Scholars Program
Yuk-Chiu Lai is a remarkably talented young pianist and violinist. At the age of four, he was introduced to the piano and has loved it since. Yuk-Chiu is a double major in the piano and violin. He has competed internationally and has earned several awards. While music is his passion, he has a wide range of interests as a cub scout and enjoys playing soccer and table tennis.
2018-2020 YOUNG SCHOLARS
Katarina Cheung is an outstanding young musician who sees music as her loyal friend. She regards music as a loyal companion who shares all the ups and downs in her life. A talented pianist, she has since the age of five participated in and has won several music competitions. Katarina devotes most of her time to music. She enjoys playing and sharing music with a group of musicians in the choir and the orchestra. Her interests and hobbies include table tennis, swimming, mathematics and reading.
Wilson Lung is an exceptional young musician, both talented at playing the piano and the Erhu. Through the Young Scholars Program, he hopes to not only further his musical knowledge through but the artistry of performance from one of the world’s most recognised and respected classical artist – Lang Lang.
Manhattan school of music
Manhattan School of Music Scholarships
HKPU Design Scholarship
HKAPA Cantonese Opera and Music
Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
art & design
FIF'S STARS IN HARMONY INITIATIVE
This year FIF reflected on the uplifting message of hope, harmony and unity. Through the foundation’s “Stars in Harmony initiative”, we united both the visual and culinary arts with our collaboration with artist Nicholas Cheung and a stellar group of Michelin starred chefs. The universal language of art and food are unifiers that extend beyond the boundaries of geography and culture.
Titled Feathered Ascent, we collaborated with international artist Nicholas Cheung on a project to spread the uplifting message of hope, harmony and positivity. The installation of dove sculptures embraces both lightness and light within darkness. A fitting metaphor and symbol of peace. This new media art installation by Cheung also skillfully demonstrates the use of robotics, electronics and advanced materials to create a much-needed icon for our times.
“Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go.” – Anthony Bourdain
Food is truly everything that we are on a plate. Working with a group of chefs with 12 Michelin stars between them; Chef Kenichi Fujimoto from Sushi Saito, Chef Hideaki Sato from Ta Vie, Chef Hidemichi Seki from Tenku RyuGin, Chef Guillaume Galliot from Caprice and Chef Chan Yan Tak from Lung King Heen. They designed a menu that presents a compelling narrative on harmony through exciting dishes that deliciously combine a myriad of tastes and temptations.
Through our Stars in Harmony Initiative, FIF celebrates the importance of art along with the messages of hope, harmony and positivity for all.
claude monet: 'the spirit of place' exhibition
Le French May presented “The Spirit of Place”; a magnificent Monet exhibition in cooperation with Réunion des Musées Nationaux. The Hong Kong community, both young and old, were able to view 18 of the Impressionist’s fine works, including Water Lilies and Effect of Spring in a setting that recreated many aspects of Monet’s beloved home, Giverny
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) supported the exhibition in partnership with Le French May and held a gala fundraising dinner at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, with exhibition viewing a highlight of the evening.
The gala introduced FIF’s original children's picture book set “My Monet” and “Colour Me Monet”, which was donated to more than 1500 local schools and libraries.
Botticelli’s Venus Exhibition
Touring from Turin: Hong Kong University presents a viewing of Venus.
For the first time in Hong Kong, Sandro Botticelli’s Venus was presented at the University Museum and Gallery of Hong Kong University (HKU). First Initiative Foundation (FIF) supported the event in order to provide viewing of this inspiring masterpiece to the broader community.
The Italian Consulate of Hong Kong and Macao, the Italian Cultural Institute and the University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) are honoured to present to the public a true Italian masterpiece – Venus (ca. 1482) by Florentine Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510). Patronised by noble families including the Medici, Botticelli produced a number of unique Venus paintings one of which, a treasure from the celebrated Galleria Sabaudain Turin, will be on view in Hong Kong for the first time from October 17th through December 15th, 2013. An iconic image of the high artistic achievement of the Renaissance (14th–16th centuries), Botticelli’s carefully executed tempera painting on wood relates to ancient classical sculpture and the tradition of depicting the goddess Venus as a heroine, symbolising love, beauty, fertility and prosperity in Greco-Roman mythology.
A rebirth of Antiquity, the Italian High Renaissance is significant for the sophisticated stylistic and technical advances in science and art, and the methodical study of nature and the human body. Botticelli’s painting, a depiction of the nude, exemplifies these values in which the verisimilitude and beauty of the human condition as an ideal form is achieved by the finest artists in early modern Europe.
UMAG plans an unprecedented public outreach programme to welcome this true sensation to our community to enchant and to educate interested members of our community, collectors and scholars, as well as students from local and international schools. In collaboration with two Italian scholars in HKU’s Fine Arts department, students will be able to learn, teach and exchange art-historical and cultural knowledge, while bringing together the wider public for whom lectures, workshops, and seminars will be organised at the museum.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Ms Pansy Ho.
Parisian partnerships meet Hong Kong heritage, in a wonderful presentation of Picasso’s masterpieces.
In partnership with Le French May, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum presented masterpieces from the Picasso collection at the Musée National Picasso, Paris. The Picasso exhibition was the finest ever featured in Hong Kong, including 56 paintings from a diverse timespan of Picasso’s career.
As this exquisite international collection was an experience not to be missed, First Initiative Foundation (FIF) arranged an exhibition viewing for art lovers – from Blue to Rose Periods, and a stroll through pioneering Cubist, Classical and Expressionist art.
Make Time for Giving: Watch Design Campaign
Memorable, dashing and designed by students: this FIF sponsored and created initiative makes time for giving.
Chairman Michelle Ong drew upon her wealth of jewellery designing experience to mentor students at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Department of Design (HKPU).
Students created two beautiful and intricate watch designs, both with First Initiative Foundation (FIF) branding, to be sold to the public in a variety of retail outlets. Proceeds contribute towards FIF Design Scholarships at HKPU.
It’s time to support our community talent!
music & performance
Baroque improvised and jazz piano trio cabana!
Jean Rondeau and Le French May present “Baroque Improvised” and “Jazz Piano Trio Cabana!”
In 2019, FIF was the recognized sponsor of “Baroque Improvised: Jean Rondeau in Recital” and “Jazz Piano Trio Cabana!” which was open to the public. The programmes led by virtuoso, renowned harpsichordist and pianist Jean Rondeau was held at Hong Kong University’s Yuet Ming Auditorium to benefit Hong Kong students and teachers.
The Art of Music
Chairman Michelle Ong created a memorable evening of art and music at Tai Kwun, featuring Milan’s Brera Picture Gallery and renowned pianist Clive Britton.
On December 1st the First Initiative Foundation (FIF) celebrated their charitable initiative “The Art of Music”. In keeping with FIF’s focus on community outreach, heritage and cultural enhancement, the special event was presented at and hosted in conjunction with Tai Kwun on Hollywood Road.
This charitable evening highlighted by a memorable recital by the internationally renowned pianist Clive Britton as he plays Hungarian composer Franz Liszt’s 2nd Year of Pilgrimage – Italy in front of Raphael’s 1504 Sposaliziodella Vergine (The Marriage of the Virgin), the Renaissance era masterpiece painting that inspired the composer on his first visit to Brera in 1837. Projected images of the inspirational artwork enhanced and accompanied the music, making this an unforgettable experience for all who attended.
A celebration dinner at Aqua Group’s exciting new Tai Kwun restaurant The Chinese Library for FIF patrons and friends preceded the recital, which was kicked off with a Lighting Ceremony on the Parade Ground.
Honoured guests joined Michelle Ong for the ceremony, including Mr. Henry Tang, Mr. Peter Lam, Mr. Timothy Fok, Mr. Leon Ko, Mr. Stephen Ip and First Initiative Foundation’s new Artist in Support Mr. Juno Mak.
The Foundation prepared a special light art installation in collaboration with local curator Karen Chan to sparkle on the evening at the Tai Kwun Parade Ground for public viewing, furthering FIF’s already substantial art outreach.
Quatuor Zaïde Recital
Quatuor Zaïde and Le French May present “The Magic Flute”.
First Initiative Foundation (FIF) sponsored this classical concert performed by Quatuor Zaïde, which consists of four well-established musicians, first violinist Charlotte Maclet, second violinist Leslie Boulin Raulet, Sarah Chenafon the viola, and finally Juliette Salmona on the cello.
They beautifully performed a couple pieces from Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute”, creating their own rendition also known as “Re-inventing the Magic Flute”. This highlights the importance of freedom of expression within the confines of Classical music.
FIF also partnered with Le French May and the Education Bureau to present a masterclass with Quatour Zaïde.
"I want..." charity recording
International superstar sensations Renée Fleming, Eason Chan and Lang Lang collaborated in support of First Initiative Foundation (FIF), on a charitable recording project produced by Leon Ko. The song “I Want…” was remastered from the 1950s release “I Want You to Be My Baby”, which became popular in Hong Kong with Grace Chang’s bilingual take on the jump blues hit.
This soon to be released CD was recorded in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. The fun, upbeat song pays homage to the true power of music to unite us all.
Geraldine Laurent and Le French May present ‘At Work’
masterclass and recital with Renée Fleming
Stephane Belmondo Trio
Voyage with Anne Queffélec
Sa Chen and the Diotima Quartet
FIF brings a spectacular chamber music concert to Hong Kong!
Sa Chen, an outstanding young Chinese pianist with an incredible worldwide following, took to the stage for an evening with the Diotima Quartet. The French ensemble is one of the most sought after, and together with Sa Chen, the concert was a wonderful opportunity for First Initiative Foundation (FIF)’s community outreach in Hong Kong.
FIF was very happy to sponsor this event in partnership with Le French May, and we also presented a Sa Chen Masterclass to benefit local music scholars.
"The Reincarnation of Red Plum" Cantonese Opera
FIF’s partnership with Lang Lang’s Young Scholars is a fantastic charitable mentoring programme that helps some of Hong Kong’s most talented young pianists to gain incredible performing experience.