HKGNA Youth Talk

HKGNA Youth Talk brings young student leaders to the forefront to find their voice and inspire young people to take action. Our aim is to encourage and equip young people to find their voice and express themselves and take action to make a positive impact on society.

Through HKGNA Youth Talk, young leaders will have a platform to share short talks on what they do best, whether in music or other endeavors, serving both as a source of knowledge and inspiration for youth around the globe.

At HKGNA Youth Talk we believe that by investing in the development of today’s young student leaders, we are shaping a brighter and more promising future for HK and beyond.

Our first speaker, Annalise Mak, a 12th grader from Hong Kong International School and a promising harpist, shares her remarkable musical journey, and her aspirations for the future in this inspiring video.

Watch the video now and be inspired by Annalise Mak’s incredible story! 



Annalise Mak is a student at Hong Kong International School, graduating in 2024. A gifted harpist, she has won top prizes at numerous international music competitions as a soloist across Asia, Europe and North America including First Prize (with Unanimous Felicitations of the Judges) at the French International Harp Competition, First Prize at the Singapore International HarpFest Competition, Bronze Medal at the Hong Kong International Harp Competition, and First Prize at the American Protégé International Concerto Competition. She made her debut at Carnegie Hall in 2017.

As an award-winning student of one of the most famous harpists in the world, Ms Dan Yu (the first Asian to ever win the Gold Medal at the USA International Harp Competition), Annalise has been featured in interviews and performances in the media and news such as in the South China Morning Post, ViuTV and Radio Television Hong Kong.

In 2022, she performed as the principal harpist for the HKGNA Music Festival Orchestra, and their performances were broadcast and livestreamed by South Korea’s CJENM tvN network, garnering a combined total audience of over 20 million people globally.

Annalise has also been a strong advocate of motivating and leading children and teenagers to use their abilities and talents to make meaningful impact on society in spite of their youth. Leading by example, she composed, performed and produced two albums of original piano music titled “Dreams of Spring” (released in 2018) and “Silver Linings and Promises” (released on Christmas Eve 2020). To date, these albums have exceeded half a million streams on Spotify alone and have listeners from over 75 countries. During the Covid-19 pandemic, all proceeds from both Annalise’s music albums went to support the work of local charities, Feeding Hong Kong and Food Angel.

Along with her sister, Elanna, she has also led young students in engaging and age-appropriate fundraising activities to sponsor over 100,000 meals for families facing food shortages during the pandemic years. Strengthening her commitment to address the issues of food security locally and globally, Annalise has been invited to be the sole Hong Kong delegate to the Global Youth Institute of the World Food Prize Foundation, an academic conference for young leaders focused on solving the world’s food security, availability and sustainability issues.

For excellence in her academic and other achievements, Annalise was selected as the youngest semi-finalist and finalist of the South China Morning Post’s prestigious Student of the Year Awards (Grand Prize Category) 2021 – 2022, eventually winning the Second Runner-Up prize.

Madeleine has roots in Hong Kong and Korea. Passionate about playing the violin, she studies with Professor Michael Ma in the Junior Program at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. Madeleine has won top prizes at local and international music competitions, including Hong Kong International Music Association Awards and most recently, the Asian String Teachers Association. She has honed her musical talent and collaborative skills through prestigious music programs, the first being Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard where, as the youngest participant, she was named Junior MVP for talent. Madeleine was also part of Music Festivals at the Heifetz PEG (Program for Exceptionally Gifted) and the Philadelphia International Music Festival. In 2022, she had the honour to be the youngest participant in the HKGNA Music Festival Youth Orchestra playing with international stars such as soprano Sumi Jo, which was broadcast and live-streamed by Korea’s CJENM tvN network and recorded a wide global audience. In 2023, she had the rare opportunity to be invited to attend Masterclasses with world-class violinists Nikki Chooi and Timothy Chooi.

Madeleine is a sophomore high schooler at the German-Swiss International School where she actively takes on leadership roles in all aspects of music. She has served as Music Ambassador for many years and led the Junior Strings Ensemble before joining the Senior Strings Ensemble. She loves to perform on various occasions in and outside the school and derives great joy when performing ensembles with her pianist sister, Audrey. She believes in nurturing every musician’s talent, and helps other junior string players rehearse for concerts and charity events. She and Audrey regularly spend time with seniors at community centres, performing pieces and engaging their ears and mind with all things musical. Her other passions are reading, writing and languages. In her spare time, she promotes awareness and a commitment to combat desertification — a family legacy that she takes seriously — to young people.

Sonja Wong started learning the piano at the age of 3, and has since then picked up violin and percussion, all at LTCL level or above. She has been winning awards from the Hong Kong School Music Festivals, as soloist, accompanist for the school choirs and concertmaster for her school orchestra at St. Stephen’s Girls’ Primary School. She now leads the orchestra at German Swiss International School as head music ambassador and head of the percussion section for the 5th consecutive year, performing regularly at various school and community events.

During COVID-19, she focused on composing songs and orchestral pieces, one of which she conducted with the orchestra during the first post-covid spring concert in 2022. She received the highest mark in the world for GCSE Music shortly after, and was awarded the Outstanding Pearson Learner Award from Pearson Edexcel, an internationally renowned exam board. Other songs were
also released through her band Art Is Not Limited, which she established in 2018. The band also serves as a music non-profit, as they regularly hold concerts and fundraise for local charities. Previously, she has collaborated with charities such as PMA Music Foundation, which aims to provide music learning and performing opportunities for the underprivileged segments in Hong Kong. In the past two years, Art Is Not Limited has held over 20 performances at elderly homes, concert venues, orphanages, homes for the disabled etc. They also self-produced 3 original singles, which are all released on streaming platforms and attracting listeners from over 20 countries worldwide. Their songs have been added to official Spotify playlists such as “‘+852 Rising’” with over 10,000 listeners. Art Is Not Limited is part of Fringe Club’s incubator program, and will continue to increase their presence in Hong Kong through live performances and public showcases.