Born in Hong Kong, Richard Tsang graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1976 with First Honors in music and proceeded on a full scholarship to study composition and conducting at the University of Hull, England, where he obtained his Master of Music degree in 1978. Upon return to Hong Kong , Tsang has been active as composer, broadcaster, conductor, critic and promoter of contemporary music. He has taught as lecturer in music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong during 1984-6, and since 1986 has been Head of Radio 4 of Radio Television Hong Kong, responsible for planning and executing the only classical music radio station in the Territory.
He is respected in the international music scene by holding such positions as Vice-President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) since 1990, Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General of the Asian Composers League (ACL). He was Chariman of the International Jury for the ISCM World Music Days in Mexico City in 1993 and has been invited to give lectures at the Young Composers' Course in Poland in 1991.
Locally, Richard Tsang has served as the Founding Chairman of the Hong Kong Composers' Guild for the past 10 years. He presently chairs the Hong Kong Cultural Sector Joint Conference, representing the Hong Kong arts community in lobbying work with the Government. He is a member of the Working Group for the establishment of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, a Director of the performing rights society - The Composers' & Authors' Society of Hong Kong (CASH), Music Committee member of the Hong Kong Council for Performing Arts, as well as advisor to the cultural presentations of the Urban Council, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, and the Asian Pacific Contemporary Music Festival in Sendai, Japan.
Mr. Tsang's musical output is diversified, ranging from choral music to chamber and orchestral works, to experimental music and music for children and modern dancers. He has been commissioned to write music by many local and overseas organizations, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the HK Chinese Orchestra, Taipei Municipal Chinese Orchestra, Japan Folklore Foundation, etc. Tsang has also received many awards, in music and otherwise, including the Outstanding Young Person Award in 1988, the Anglo-Hong Kong Trust Artist Award and Composer of the Year Award in 1990, as well as the Asian Cultural Council Arstist Award in 1993. In 1989, his Prelude for Orchestra was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the USA . This work was later performed by the BSO in Hong Kong as well as by the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra in Japan and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea . His other compositions are also frequently performed in many countries.
Mr. Tsang has been involved in the promotion of contemporary music both at home and abroad. In 1986, he founded the First Contemporary Chinese Composers' Festival in Hong Kong which provided for the first time a platform for exchange and performance among Chinese composers from all over the world including mainland China . In 1988 he led the HK Composers' Guild in the organization of the 1988 ISCM-ACL World Music Days Festival which successfully brought together for the first time the two major international compoers' organizations at one event for fruitful exchange. Since 1992, he founded and chaired the annual MUSICARAMA Contemporary music festival in Hong Kong which continues to provide an excellent platform for exchange and exposure of contemporary music in the Territory.
As a musician, Tsang has served as Founding Music Director of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta (1990-3), guest conducted many local performing groups including the HK Philharmonic, the HK Chinese Orchestra, and the HK Ballet.