Raphael Mak (b. 1992)
City of Victoria, Hong Kong (now active in Gothenburg and Hong Kong)
Bachelor of Arts in Music, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Master of Science in Urban Planning, The University of Hong Kong
Master of Fine Arts in Music with specialization in composition, University of Gothenburg
I was considered a talented kid and, by discretionary admission, entered the Pun U Association Wah Yan Primary School and thereafter Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. In both schools I maintained good grades. Like many kids in Hong Kong, I had to play the piano and learn multiple sports, including badminton, basketball, swimming, and a few more.
Eventually, I chose the flute as my main musical instrument which gave me access to more musical activities, especially orchestra. 2007 was a significant year for me as I started serious training of running, and composed many of my earliest works. In the previous year I had my first orienteering experience.
In 2009, I did two crucial things to advance my standing in music: to head the Music Society at school, and to join the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. Meanwhile, being able to take part in the athletic drive out of Division 3 was something to be always proud of.
Originally a civil engineer wannabe, I shifted my career goal to architecture before settling on music. My HKCEE result in 2009 was one “A” short of what was needed for early entry into university, so I took the HKALE in 2011 with decent results, landing safely in CUHK Music.
The experience of being in two committees at once (孖莊), plus the strong commitment of the cross country team, was quite an overwhelming experience. While I had learned a lot in the process, I experienced some retreat from campus life. That was however also the same time I became an annual marathonist.
My music career developed slowly. However, I was drawn to high-performance orienteering at the same time and eventually got into the Hong Kong Team for a few years.
In 2015 I ventured into race organisation by establishing the Metropolitan Orienteering Club. I also started the Victoria City Music Workshop to manage my musical interests.
While my degree at HKU was for urban planning, I continued my orienteering activities while music was more of a side dish. I joined my second university cross country team.
No longer in any orchestra, I instead joined the choir which allowed me to diversify from orchestral music in my creative pursuit.
I moved to Sweden in 2017 after getting into the Masters programme in composition at the University of Gothenburg.