Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

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The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
HKAPA logo.svg
Type Public
Established 1984 (1984)
Director Adrian Walter
Undergraduates 790[1]
Postgraduates 141[1]
Other students
Location No. 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Campus Urban
Website www.hkapa.edu
Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
Traditional Chinese 香港演藝學院
The Main Campus of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Campus atrium

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (Chinese: 香港演藝學院) is a provider of tertiary education in Hong Kong. Located near the north coast of Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island, the main campus also functions as a venue for performances. Apart from the main campus in Wanchai, Bethanie, the site of the institution's Landmark Heritage Campus in Pokfulam, has housed the School of Film and Television since 2007.

The academy offers practice-based and professional diploma, advanced diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Chinese opera, dance, drama, film and television, music, and theatre and entertainment arts. Its educational policy reflects the cultural diversity of Hong Kong with an emphasis on Chinese and Western traditions and interdisciplinary learning.

Every year, the Academy enrols about 750 students for its full-time programmes and around 770 students for its Junior Music Programme and Gifted Young Dancer Programme. Furthermore, its extensive EXCEL (Extension and Continuing Education for Life) programme offers part-time personal enrichment courses and in-service professional training to nearly 8,000 students each year.


In early 1981 the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club informed Governor Murray MacLehose that it was willing to fund another project of a comparable scale to its recent major undertakings, which included the Ocean Park and the Jubilee Sports Centre.[2] The government responded with a proposal to develop an academy for the performing arts.[2] The academy would complement the performing arts spaces being opened across the territory by the Urban Council, and provide opportunities for creative youth just as the Jubilee Sports Centre was developed to serve young sportspeople.[3]

On 15 September 1981 the Jockey Club formally announced plans to build the academy on a piece of vacant land in Wan Chai, granted by the government, between HMS Tamar and the Hong Kong Arts Centre.[2] The academy was established in 1984. In the early 1990s, the APA became a degree-granting institution.

The main campus was designed by local firm Simon Kwan and Associates, who were among six firms invited to submit designs in a limited competition.[4][5] It comprises the Academy Block, the Theatre Block, and the Administration Block. The Administration Block was ready for occupation in July 1985.[6] The Academy Block was formally opened on 18 September 1985 by Governor Edward Youde. The Theatre Block was opened by the Duchess of Kent on 3 February 1986, the same day the inaugural opera season began as part of the 1986 Hong Kong Arts Festival.[6] The 1981 model produced for the architectural competition is now held by the M+ museum.[7]

In 2006 the academy established a second campus at Béthanie in Pok Fu Lam. It mainly houses specialist facilities for the School of Film and Television.[8]

The original campus was designed for a student population of 600 students. The academy has been facing space constraints as enrolment has gradually risen, prompting planning for campus expansion.[8] The 334 Scheme further exacerbated the problem.[8] In June 2012 the Legislative Council approved funding of $444.8 million for construction of a nine-storey annex block, and other campus improvements, presently under construction.[9] The expansion will house classrooms, studios, laboratories, music rooms, offices, workshops and support facilities.[8]

The academy is working with the West Kowloon Cultural District, which is under construction, on education plans and venue usage.[10]


The academy is governed under the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Ordinance, passed in 1984 by the Legislative Council. Under the legislation the academy is mandated to "foster and provide for training, education and research in the performing arts and related technical arts".[11] The governing body of the institution is called the Council of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, which is responsible for appointing a director, who oversees the day-to-day operation of the academy.

The academy is funded through tuition fees as well as a subvention provided by the Home Affairs Bureau. This arrangement differs from most other post-secondary institutions in the territory, which are funded by the University Grants Committee.

Kevin Thompson was director of the academy from 2004 to 2012. During his tenure the institute forged international links, including arrangements with the Juilliard School in New York City as well as mainland colleges, and introduced master's degrees in performing arts disciplines. Thompson also initiated planning for campus expansion.[12] The incumbent director, guitarist Adrian Walter, was recruited in 2012. He had been the dean of music at the Australian National University in Canberra since 2008.[13]

Academic units[edit]

The Academy offers academic programmes from diploma/foundation to master's degree level in six faculties:

  • School of Chinese Opera
  • School of Dance
  • School of Drama
  • School of Film and Television
  • School of Music
  • School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts

Academic staff[edit]

Academic staff includes:

  • Prof Adrian Walter, Director
  • Professor Anita Donaldson, Dean of College of Allied Arts
  • Professor John Williams, Dean of College of Theatre and Media Arts
  • Billbob Brown, Chair of School of Dance
  • Professor Ceri Sherlock, Chair of School of Drama
  • Shu Kei, Chair of School of Film and Television
  • Dr Sharon Choa, Chair of School of Music
  • Gillian Choa, Chair of School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts
  • Dr Li Siu Leung, Chair of School of Chinese Opera


  • Lyric Theatre, with 1,181 seats.
  • Drama Theatre, with 415 seats.
  • Concert Hall, with 382 seats.
  • Recital Hall, with 134–202 seats
  • Studio Theatre, with 120–240 seats
  • Wellcome Theatre at the Béthanie Campus

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "2013-2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. 
  2. ^ a b c Jim, McGrath (16 September 1981). "Jockey Club plans centre for the arts". South China Morning Post. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "Performing arts project 'timely'". South China Morning Post. 8 October 1981. p. 16. 
  4. ^ Hayhoe, Jane (2 March 1982). "Academy to hold four art schools". South China Morning Post. p. 10. 
  5. ^ "HK Academy for Performing Arts". Simon Kwan and Associates. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Annual Report 1985-86" (PDF). Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. February 1987. 
  7. ^ "Competition Model, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Building Design , Hong Kong". M+. West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Expansion and Improvement of Wanchai Campus of Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts" (PDF). Legislative Council. 20 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "On-Campus Expansion (OCE)". Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  10. ^ Chow, Vivienne (16 December 2016). "Academy for Performing Arts to focus on employability and research". South China Morning Post. 
  11. ^ "The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Ordinance". Bilingual Laws Information System. Department of Justic. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  12. ^ Chow, Vivienne (18 August 2012). "Academy for Performing Arts chief Kevin Thompson speaks on leaving his post". South China Morning Post. 
  13. ^ Chow, Vivienne (3 September 2012). "New chief Adrian Walter has big plans for HK Academy for Performing Arts". South China Morning Post. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°16′49″N 114°10′10″E / 22.28028°N 114.16944°E / 22.28028; 114.16944