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'Our Music Talents' Series:
Debussy's Chamber Music



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22 October 2012 (Mon) 8pm
Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall
$160, 110

 
Performers

Violin: Kitty Cheung
Cello: Chang Pei-chieh
Piano: Sophia Yang
Piano: Ken So

 
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Programme

An All-Debussy Programme

Cello Sonata
Violin Sonata
En blanc et noir (Two Pianos)
Petite Suite (Piano Four-Hand)
Piano Trio in G

 
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Programme Details

A rare concert programme devoted entirely to Debussy's chamber music for the Debussy Year.  The Violin Sonata and Cello Sonata are late works of Debussy, and display quite a different colour and harmony from those in the composer’s earlier compositions.  They were written at a difficult time, as his life drew to its end and as France was engulfed in war, to be patriotically described as by a Musicien français, a French musician.  The Piano Trio, on the other hand, was written at the very beginning of Debussy's career.  In a recent survey of great musicians to find their favourite Debussy works, the American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas named the two-piano piece En blanc et noir, as ‘it’s such an overwhelming visionary piece, almost cinema-like, in showing where Debussy’s mind was in the last period of his work’.  The charming piano four-hand piece Petite Suite completes this very special all-Debussy concert programme, to be performed by four outstanding local instrumentalists, all of them soloists on their own right.

 

 
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Details of Performers

Kitty Cheung

Violin

Currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Kitty Cheung has concertized in over 25 countries throughout Asia, South Africa, Europe, North and South America, and has given recitals in Hong Kong, UK, USA, Germany and Austria.   She appeared as a soloist with various orchestras in UK, US and Hong Kong. Her performances were broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and the RTHK.  She was concertmaster of numerous ensembles, of which some had recorded for Loft Records, New World Records and Bridge Records (nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2008).  She had also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.  She had worked with distinguished conductors including Valery Gergiev, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis and Vasily Petrenko. 

She began her early violin training in her native Hong Kong under the tutelage of the late Professor Lin Yaoji, the former head of violin of the Central Conservatory in Beijing.  She also studied with Ho Hong-Ying, Qiu Xinyeh and Li Haoyee. Cheung completed her Master of Music and Master in Music Performance (Guildhall Artist) degrees, both with distinction, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Professor David Takeno, where she was a full scholarship recipient.  Cheung holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with and served as the Teaching Assistant of Professor Charles Castleman, as well as an instructor of secondary violin.  She was a recipient of Graduate Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Teaching, the Doctoral Lecture Recital Prize, John Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music, Performer’s Certificate as well as Orchestral Studies Diploma.

As an active chamber musician on both Baroque and modern instruments, Cheung constantly seeks way to push the boundary of the chamber music performance tradition.  She is a co-founder of Contrast, the only professional violin-saxophone-piano trio in Hong Kong.  Besides performing in regular concert settings, Cheung often gives educational workshops, including the Chamber Tots series at Wigmore Hall in London.  She had also given masterclasses at the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Lakes Area Chamber Music Festival in the United States.

 

Chang Pei-chieh

Cello

Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Chang Pei-Chieh received her first cello lesson at the age of ten with Professor Che-Ming Chen. She earned her Bachelor degree from the Music Department of Taiwan Normal University, studying under Professor Lingyi Ou Yang.  She then furthered her studies at New England Conservatory of Music with Professor Yeesun Kim.

As a soloist, she played in the masterclasses of Anssi Kattunen, Lynn Harrell, Wang Jian, Pi-ching Chien and Suren Bagratuni.  In addition, Pei-Chieh won a number of competitions, such as the top prize at the Taiwan Normal University Concerto Competition, performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1, and she was the winner of Taiwan Outstanding Youth Musician Series for Concerto, performing Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra.  In 2009, she performed Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, of which she is currently the Principal Cello.

As a chamber music player, she won First Prize in the String Quintet division at the Taiwan Academy of Arts Music Competition in 1998 and 1999, and First Prize at the Canada-Taiwan String Quartet Competition in 2002.  In the same year, she was granted full scholarship to participate in a chamber music programme provided by the Taiwan Council of Culture Affairs, in which she was invited to perform in a concert titled ‘2002 Young Voices from Taiwan’ in Alice Tully Hall in New York.  In 2005, she became one of the founding members of the ‘Cello 4’ Taiwanese first cello quartet.  A live CD recording of their first concert was released and it won the Best Performance Award in the Traditional and Classical Music division at the 17th Golden Melody Award.  The group was invited to perform at the 18th Golden Melody Award Ceremony in the following year.

S
he was always the most outstanding cello student, serving as principal cello in orchestras, being nominated to receive many scholarships and performing as representative of the music class.  She has freelanced actively in New World Symphony Orchestra, Miami, USA, Taipei Century Symphony Orchestra, and Taipei Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.  In 2007, she played with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under its Orchestral Fellowship Scheme.  In the same year, she attended the Tanglewood Festival and won a chance to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

 

Sophia Yang

Piano

Sophia Yang’s performances had been reported by the press in the US as possessing the quality of ‘expressing full variations in tone and displaying the techniques of the true virtuoso.’  Born and educated in Taiwan, Sophia went to New York to pursue her music studies at Manhattan School of Music, majoring in piano performance under the tutelage of Russian-born pianist Arkady Aronov and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.  During her study at City University of New York, Sophia was a favourite student of the renowned pianist Agustin Anievas, and was awarded two scholarships for her outstanding academic achievement.  Sophia received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance in 1997.  She is currently teaching in the piano faculty of the Music Department of the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Sophia has been performing actively in Hong Kong and Taiwan.  In 2009, she appeared as a soloist with Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in the Taipei Concert Hall, and with Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.  She was also invited to perform two Mendelssohn’s Piano Trios in a concert to commemorate the composer’s bicentennial at Hong Kong Kwang-Hwa Information and Culture Center.  In 2010, together with pianist Evelyn Chang, she played a programme of ‘Dance with Two Pianos’ in various concert halls in Taiwan.  In the same year, she performed in an All-Chopin chamber music concert, a presentation of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

 

Ken So

Piano

Born and educated in Hong Kong, Ken So began his piano training at the age of five.  In 1999, he entered the Music Foundation Course of the Hong Kong Baptist University and studied piano with Sophia Yang. Upon finishing the two-year Music Foundation Course, So was accepted by the Music and Fine Arts Department of the Hong Kong Baptist University to enroll in the bachelor programme, and graduated in 2004.  In 2006 and 2007, he entered the Professional Diploma Course and the Master of Music in Performance programme of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts under the tutelage of Raymond Young. In 2007, he received the LRSM piano performance diploma from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.  He is the recipient of the Ohel Leah Synagogue Charity Scholarship in 2008.

 

 
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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 28 August 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 CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).

'Our Music Talents' Series Discount
For each purchase of standard tickets of 'Our Music Talents' Series in the 'Debussy Year' Series for 'Piano Recital by Zhao Ning', 'Opus One Piano Trio', 'Two-Piano Concert by HK Duo', 'Two-Piano Concert by Raymond Young and Ma Cong', 'Debussy’s Chamber Music' and 'Hong Kong Virtuosi': 5% off for any 2 concerts; 10% off for any 3 concerts; 15% off for any 4 concerts; 20% off for any 5 concerts; 25% off for all 6 concerts.

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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Enquiries

Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999
Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk
Enquiries: 2268 7321
ProgrammeTicketing Enquiries: 2734 9009

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

 
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