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Our Music Talents Series: Mary Wu & Friends

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2 December 2011 (Fri) 8pm
Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall
$150, 100

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Piano: Mary Wu
Violin: Ho Hong-ying
Viola: Sophie Renshaw
Cello: Wolfgang Nüsslein

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Piano Trio in B-flat, Op. 11

Liszt - Saint-Saëns

Orpheus, for Piano Trio


Piano Quartet in A Minor


Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9, Le Carnaval de Pest for Piano Trio

Christopher Keyes

‘Trois’ for Piano Trio

Howard Blake   

Piano Quartet, Op. 179

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Programme Details

Famous pianist Mary Wu gathers her friends, including Hong Kong violinist Ho Hong-ying as well as two remarkable soloists from abroad, viola player Sophie Renshaw from the UK and cellist Wolfgang Nüsslein from Germany, to give a specially conceived concert programme as a tribute to Liszt and Mahler in their anniversary years.  In addition to Mahler’s rarely heard chamber work, his Piano Quartet, written when the composer was a student, these friends will play transcriptions of Liszt's compositions, including his Hungarian Rhapsody, Carnival in Pest, a piece drawing on the musical traditions of Hungary, his birth-place, where he became a national hero, and Liszt’s symphonic poem Orpheus, a transcription by the French composer Saint-Saëns.  The programme continues with Beethoven's Gassenhauer Trio (Popular Song Trio), so called from the song used for a series of variations that make up the third movement, taken from a popular opera of the time.  The programme also includes a piano trio by the Hong Kong composer Christopher Keyes and a piano quartet by the prolific English composer Howard Blake.

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Details of Performers

Mary Wu


Hailed as ‘one of the most gifted pianists of her generation’ for her ‘musical variety, profundity and sensitivity’ by Ravel's long time pupil late Vlado Perlemuter, Mary Wu is also praised by the late Lord Yehudi Menuhin as having ‘a captivating poetical quality to her playing’.


Performed in public from a young age, Wu has performed extensively in Europe, Asia and North America, including performances with Lord Menuhin in the United Kingdom and Germany, and in festivals including Ravel Academy, France, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, International Contemporary Music Festival, Macau Arts Festival, ‘Hell Hot’ New Music Festival, Ibiza Festival in Spain and Bright Sheng's ‘Intimacy of Creativity’ Festival in Hong Kong, in which she performed with two-time Grammy Award winner Richard Stoltzman.  She has performed frequently with the Gramophone Chamber Music Award winner, the Maggini Quartet, and is a founding member of the Bauhinia Piano Trio.


As a graduate of the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Royal College of Music in London and the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she completed her Doctoral degree, Wu is a faculty member of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Honorary Artist-in-Residence at The Hong Kong Institute of Education.


Her concerto performances include collaboration with Calgary Symphony in Canada, Beijing Central Philharmonic, Polish Gdansk Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Guangzhou Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, among others.


Wu was elected ‘Hong Kong Top Ten Outstanding Young People’ in 2003, and is the winner of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s Award for Best Artist (Music) in 2010.  Over the years she has won prizes including the Chappell Gold Medal of Royal College of Music, first prize at the Royal Overseas League Competition and the Mozart Bicentenary Competition of Asia.  She is also selected as a top pianist/educator in China in the upcoming book ‘China Piano Music Panorama’ edited by Zhou Guangren and published by People's Music Publishing House.


She has several CD recordings on BMG, ASV, Dutton, ‘Contemporary Chinese Piano Works’ on Paradism, and ‘Ravel's Complete Piano Works’ on Universal Label.


Ho Hong-ying


Ho Hong-ying was born in Canton, China and began to study the violin at the age of seven and at eleven entered the Central Conservatory of Music as an exceptional student.  During her school years in Beijing she performed for many world-renowned violinists and professors such as Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin and Dorothy DeLay.  With DeLay's recommendation she entered The Juilliard School of Music in 1984 and completed her Master's Degree in 1990.


Ho was a winner and prize winner of the Chinese National Violin Competition at age 14, Menuhin International Violin Competition at 16, and New York Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, Bergen Philharmonic Concerto Competition, National Arts Club Violin Competition, and Artist International (New York) Presentations during her years at The Juilliard School.  As a result of these competitions she was presented in concerts in Carnegie Hall and Weill Recital Hall.  Ho is an active chamber musician who has been member of the Manhatten String Trio, Manhattan Piano Trio and since 1995 the Bauhinia Piano Trio and Concertmaster of Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra.


She is currently teaching at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and chamber music at the Yip's Music Center.


Sophie Renshaw


Sophie Renshaw studied violin and viola at the Yehudi Menuhin School and gained a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California, studying with Donald McInnes.  She then joined the Orford String Quartet, in residence at the University of Toronto, with whom she played for four years, touring widely.  She made several CD recordings with the quartet, including the complete quartet cycle of R. Murray Schafer and the Mozart Piano Quartets with Jane Coop.  There then followed a period of freelance work in Europe, during which Renshaw developed a special interest in the performance of contemporary music.  She performed regularly with Ensemble Modern, the London Sinfonietta and the Composers Ensemble.  She then took the position of Principal Viola in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with which she played until 2007.  Renshaw now freelances as a chamber musician and has two young children.


Wolfgang Nüsslein


The cellist Wolfgang Nüsslein studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe.  He continued his studies with Paul and Maud Tortelier in Nice and Harvey Shapiro at The Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he finished his studies with a Master of Music degree. As a founder member of the Manhattan String Trio he has given concerts with the trio and other groups in Europe (Schleswig Holstein Festival, Beethovenfestival Krakau), USA (Carnegie Weill, Merkin Concert Hall New York), Canada (Victoria International Festival), South America (Santiago de Chile), China (Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai) and Russia (Mozart Festival St. Petersburg).  In addition he has made several CD’s and radio broadcasts.  He has appeared as soloist in concertos by Elgar, Stamitz, and Tchaikowsky and has given several recitals in Germany, London and Hong Kong.


As the principal solo cellist of the Bavarian Chamber Orchestra he has toured at home and abroad; 2006 and 2007 he appeared as a soloist with this orchestra in the major concert halls of South Korea.  In addition Nüsslein is a member of the Münchner Bachsolisten and the Würzburg Bachorchester.


Since 1991, Nüsslein has been working as a teacher at different institutions (Academy for Music Kassel), teaching courses for chamber music and cello in Germany, Chile and Hong Kong (Hong Kong Baptist University).


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Programme Length

Running time of the concert is about 1 hour and 30 minutes with an intermission of 15 minutes.

Audience are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until a suitable break or the interval in the programme.

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Ticket and Concession

Tickets available from 2 November onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and credit card telephone booking

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).


Special Booking Discount

10% off for each purchase of standard tickets for 2 concerts of the ‘Our Music Talents’ Series: ‘Mary Wu & Friends’ and ‘Opus One Piano Trio’.


Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

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Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321
Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009
Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999
Internet Booking: 

The presenter reserves the right to substitute artists and change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.


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