Sharon Choa is an accomplished conductor, musicologist and educator. She was born and bred in Hong Kong, educated at St. Paul’s Co-educational College before being accepted by the Royal Academy of Music in London as a violinist to study under the great quartet leader Sidney Griller. Since then, she has worked professionally in the U.K. until 2014 when she was offered the position as Dean of the School of Music at the HK Academy for Performing Arts. In that same year, Sharon was given the Music Award under the Norfolk Arts Award scheme for her services in music, and the A.R.A.M. in recognition of her work as performer and educator.
While in the U.K., Sharon has received many other accolades in recognition of her achievement as musician, conductor and entrepreneur. In 2007, she was nominated an ‘inspirational woman of the world’ with her portrait appearing in the National Gallery and is featured in Zerbanoo Gifford’s book Confessions to a Serial Womaniser. Other performance and academic prizes include 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 2001, Sharon founded Chamber Orchestra Anglia (COA). In the role as artistic director and principal conductor of the orchestra, she has presented a string of concerts that earned COA the reputation for its high-quality performances and innovative programming.
In her career as a conductor, she has worked with many European orchestras and with soloists such as Steven Isserlis, Paul Silverthorne, Jane Manning, Jeremy White, Warren Mok, Ning Liang, Justin Lavender, Diana Moore, Philip Eastop, and the Allegri String Quartet. Since working in HK, she has been a guest conductor of the HK Philharmonic and appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble (HKNME). In 2016 with her colleagues at the HKAPA, she has founded Philharmonia APA (PAPA) – an ensemble made up of HKAPA’s gifted alumni. The ensemble has already given a number of high-profile concerts in Hong Kong and toured to Vienna twice in 2016 & 2017. In 2020, Sharon collaborated with the HK Phil to found The Orchestra Academy HK – a project that enables young talented orchestral musicians to hone their skills to world-class levels and in line with 21st-century practices.