|Guide to Classical Music in Hong Kong|
For some reason, major classical labels usually release their recordings in Hong Kong months ahead of the international release dates. Also, many hard-to-find titles (in other countries) from these labels and reissues from their Japanese branches are available here. Most of the larger record stores have sizeable classical sections despite higher prices, and the smaller ones have more competitive prices to compensate for their smaller selections. Listed below are selected record stores in the region of interest to classical music listeners. They should be easy to find even for those who visit Hong Kong for the first time.
In its early (pre-HMV) days, Hong Kong Records was the largest record store in the region. Now that all four branches of HMV have downsized their classical section, Hong Kong Records' branch at Festival Walk can be safely called the best store for classical listeners. In addition to the size of the selection, staff members are friendly and knowledgeable.
The largest local distributor of independent labels such as Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, Pearl, Tahra, Testament, BBC Legends, etc. has a showroom in Mongkok. Many of the titles from these labels, which might be hard to find elsewhere, are available there. Check out its web site before you go: it does not have long business hours and does not open on Sundays and public holidays.
The international chain store HMV entered the Hong Kong market in the 1990s and established five branches in the busiest districts. Unfortunately, all their classical sections have been downsized and the very high prices do not help to keep their customers. The Queensway Plaza store can be ignored as the classical section is tiny.
First opened in the Exchange Square, then moved to the Prince Building and later disappeared briefly, Pro Sound settled down at Hang Seng Building for many years. In early 2008, it moved to the present location and was significantly downsized. Although the size of its classical selection is not impressive, this store offers very competitive prices.
Similar to Pro Sound, Percival is back in business, but at the original location, after many years. New releases show up there earlier than in other stores and prices are among the lowest in the region. It doesn't put that many discs on display and most people bring a shopping list there to order the discs they want. It does have many hard-to-find box sets.
A & B Sound
Both A & B Sound and Disc Plus offer very competitive prices despite their small selection. That said, they are good places to get new releases because of the low prices. They also have items that are sold out and not restocked at the large chain stores.