Sharon Choa

Sharon Choa

Hong Kong Hong Kong


Born in Hong Kong and enjoyed an exceptional Anglo-Chinese education, Sharon excelled in the violin at an early age and first began conducting while still at school at the age of 16. She was later accepted at the Royal Academy of Music as a violinist to study under the great quartet leader Sidney Griller. Sharon also holds a First Class B.Mus. and Ph.D degrees from King’s College London. It was during her studies at King’s that her talent for conducting was rediscovered and led to coaching from the conductors Lawrence Leonard, Diego Masson, Georg Tintner, Janos Fürst, Jiří Bělohlávek and Sir Colin Davis. Trained rigorously both in performance and academia, she became Director of Performance and Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Norwich in 1996; taking over the UEA Symphony Orchestra as Chief Conductor. Since then, she has taken the Orchestra on tour to Germany, Italy, Austria and Moravia as well as guest conducted professional orchestras in Germany, Russia, the Czech Republic and HK. In 2001, Sharon founded Chamber Orchestra Anglia, a professional ensemble that draws together creative, cultural and academic strengths in the UK. Whilst in the UK Sharon has been awarded many performance and academic prizes and has been given individual grants by Arts Council England, the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Council to further her many musical and entrepreneurial activities. In 2007, Sharon was nominated an “inspirational woman of the world” with her portrait appearing in the National Gallery. She was awarded the Norfolk Arts Award and the Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in 2014, the same year when she returned to her birthplace, HK, to take up the position as Dean of the School of Music at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). In 2022, the School created a new department – Conducting & Cultural Leadership – and Sharon shifted her position to lead and direct this new initiative.

In HK, she guest conducted the HK Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil), and was Principal Guest Conductor of the HK New Music Ensemble – taking the ensemble on tour to the Tong Yeong Festival and the Gwangju Festival in Korea. Sharon also serves as the Music Director of the HKAPA Symphony Orchestra, performing regularly with the Orchestra locally as well as on tour to Taipei, Beijing, and Shenzhen. In 2019, she co-founded The Orchestra Academy in partnership with the HK Phil, giving HKAPA’s distinguished graduates a chance to further hone their skills in the professional world. In 2022, she initiated the founding of the Greater Bay Area Youth Orchestra, an artistic as well as social enterprise to bring talented musicians of the region together in an ensemble. In 2023 August, Sharon led the orchestra as its Music Director and Conductor on its debut tour to Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The concerts were received with much acclaim.

In her spare time, Sharon is an ardent Taichi and Qigong practitioner. She is also a keen student of Chinese calligraphy.