Composer Man-yee Lam was born in Hong Kong. She started to get piano lessons from her mother at the age of four. With her pop band the Peppers, they were the top group in Talent Quest. She obtained her bachelor degree from the University of Hong Kong in psychology and sociology. She then studied piano in Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome with Giuseppe Scotese (Hong Kong government scholarship, 1973-75) , and composition at the Musikhochshule in Freiburg, Germany with Brian Ferneyhough (DAAD scholarship, 1979-82). She was pianist with the Internationl Anton Webern Chamber Orchestra of the Venice Biennale 1976 and gave many piano recitals of contemporary works up to 1982. She was Hon. Secretary of the Asian Composers' League (Hong Kong chapter) and was coordinator for many "New Music Hong Kong" concerts in the late seventies. She was a founding member of the ISCM Hong Kong section Many of Seen-yee's serious compositions have received international recognition and have been performed at major international music festivals and conferences (ISCM World Music Days , Asian ComposersÕ League Conferences, Gaudeamus Week) She has received commissions from the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Arts Centre , the 1997 Hong Kong Artists Association for Celebration of the Reunification of Hong Kong with China and the Hong Kong Ballet. In 1988 she was featured on Polish Television as one of twenty leading contemporary composers on the international music scene. In 1989 she was awarded "Composer of the Year" by the Hong Kong Artists' Guild.
Man-yee has composed the musical scores for over fifty Hong Kong produced movies and is equally well known in the Pacific Rim Territories for her popular songs. Music awards include Best Film Score ( "Love in a Fallen City" ,1985, Best Movie Theme Song ("Heart of the Dragon" 1986),Winner, ABU Songwriting Contest 1985 ("Empty Chair"), Most Popular Song of 1986 ("Story of Oshin"), Best Melody Writer (Radio Television Hong Kong 1986; Commercial Radio Hong Kong 1988). In 1987 Seen-yee produced a series of four sold-out concerts featuring her greatest hits at the Hong Kong Coliseum (seating capacity 11,000) She has produced her own instrumental albums and pop albums by Hong Kong artists.
Man-yee has collaborated extensively with modern dance choreographers. Major modern dance productions which she received commissions for include "Hell Screen", "Stories of Aung San Suu Kyi", "Open Party" and "Is There Life On Mars?" Her full-length work for modern dance, "Dream City " (for female vocalist, viola and tape) was premiered in New York City in May 1998 and repeated in Hong Kong. In August 1999, her monumental, full length work "Beauty and the Beast" (for chamber ensemble and tape) commissioned by the Hong Kong Ballet was premiered in Hong Kong. Later that year she was commissioned to compose "LIGHTIMEª Trilogy" for the Millennium celebrations in Hong Kong.
In 2000 Man-yee released her easy-listening instrumental CD "Awakened to a Dream", which was recorded in New York and Hong Kong. In this album she combined the use of western and Chinese instruments to create a unique sound. In 2002 "Journey of a Composer", a 5 -concert series featuring Man-yee's contemporary concert music, music for modern dance , jazzed-up Canto-pop songs and smooth jazzy music was presented by the Hong Kong Fringe Club and LCSD. In 2004 she gave a well-received 10-lecture series on music appreciation for the LCSD. She also lectured for SPACE. More lectures have been planned for 2005/2006.
In 2005 she was awarded one of the ten"Most Successful Woman 2005" by Jessica magazine, Hong Kong.
In Sept. 2005 Man-yee launched her career as a writer/columnist. Her column "Slimming Warriors" for TVB Weekly is well received. In Dec. 2005 she started her column on alternative therapies for Jessica Magazine.
Man-yee has been increasingly interested in alternative healing since she lost a friend to cancer and another friend was struggling with leukemia . In October 2005 she attended the Gerson Institute's Gerson Therapy Caregivers' Training Workshop in Vancouver. She has also been studying with Mr. Tom Tam (Tong Ren Therapy). She founded the Hong Kong Chapter of Tong Ren Therapy in March 2006 and has been conducting free Tong Ren Healing Classes in Hong Kong. Together with Tom Tam, she produced and released an energy healing CD in 2007.
In 2007, the Faculty of Social Sciences at The University of Hong Kong celebrated its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the Faculty was keen to honour some of its most distinguished alumni. It therefore created a 40 under 40 awards scheme designed to salute the achievements of 40 outstanding alumni from the Faculty's first 40 years. Man-yee is one of the 40.
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