Home Entertainment Joseph Koo, composer of “A Better Tomorrow”, dies at age 91

Joseph Koo, composer of “A Better Tomorrow”, dies at age 91

by Ana Lopez
0 comment

Joseph Koo, one of the most important music composers during the golden age of Hong Kong cinema, has passed away in Vancouver, Canada. He turned 91.

Local news sources say he passed away on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, but they don’t say why. Koo Ka-Fai was born in Guangzhou, China, on February 23, 1931. In 1948, he moved from mainland China to Hong Kong with his scientific and musical family.

Koo worked for a long time in Hong Kong’s film, TV and pop music industry. Although he moved to Canada in the 1990s, he kept in touch with Hong Kong’s business world.

As a child, Koo learned to play the piano and wrote songs for his famous artist sister, Koo Mei. He later became an artist and bandleader. He played at the Luk Kwok Hotel in Hong Kong, among others.

His first song for a movie was “Dream”, sung by his sister in the 1961 Shaw Brothers movie “Love Without End”. Ren Ren Shaw paid for him to study music at Berklee College in Boston, USA

Take a look at:

When Koo went back to Hong Kong, he worked for the Shaw Brothers companies. For his work on the 1965 musical comedy ‘The Dancing Millionairess’ made by the Shaw Brothers, he won a Golden Horse Award, the most prestigious award in Chinese-language cinema.

There he wrote the music for ‘Fist of Fury’ and ‘Way of the Dragon’, two of Bruce Lee’s six films. Koo got the job of TVB’s musical director in 1973. He kept that job until he left the area, which was a long time.

While there, he created the scores and theme songs for films like “Shanghai Bund” in 1980, as well as the theme songs for the TV shows “The Legend of the Condor Heroes” and “Five Easy Pieces”, which are now considered classics all time.

He also wrote the theme song for the TV series ‘Below the Lion Rock’, which is still regarded by many as the unofficial national anthem of Hong Kong. He also wrote the theme songs for John Woo’s two ‘A Better Tomorrow’ movies.

Koo wrote songs for Ray Yeung’s films “Cut Sleeve Boys” in 2006 and Jia Zhangke’s “Ash Is Purest White” in 2017. Koo received many national and international awards for his work and career. In 1982, the British government presented Koo with the MBE.

Hong Kong has been ruled by China since 1997. Koo received the Bronze Bauhinia Star in 1988 and the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2015. In 2010, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council presented him with the Life Achievement Award at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards.

“Joseph Koo’s works are evergreen pieces that have formed an important part of the lives of the people of Hong Kong over the years and have enriched the lives of Chinese around the world. His spirit and the memorable moving melodies he created will be passed down from one generation to the next. We will remember him fondly’, Hong Kong Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung said in a statement released Wednesday.

Just follow us on Lee Daily for more news like this.

You may also like

About Us

Latest Articles