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Local orchestra to play popular Chinese music

Hong Kong City Chinese Orchestra will give two music concerts of popular Chinese music next month (June).

The performances of "A Concert of Popular Chinese Music", will be at 8pm on Saturday, June 10, at the Auditorium, Yuen Long Theatre and Sunday, June 11 at the Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre.

Under the baton of guest conductor Liu Ju and conductor Ching Sau-wing, the orchestra will play music lovers' favourites "Beautiful Clouds Chasing the Moon"; "Thunder in a Drought"; "The Song of the General"; "Reflection of the Moon on the Waters" among others. The orchestra will also perform different programmes in two shows.

Born into a family of artists, Liu Ju received conducting training at the Central Conservatory of Music and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. After his graduation in 1995, he joined the National Ballet of China as the conductor of the orchestra, a position that he holds to this day. Over the years, he has toured with the group and orchestra to the UK, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Liu has performed with the Symphony Orchestra of the China National Opera House, the China Film Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, Polish State Symphony Orchestra Katowice, Shanghai National Orchestra, Taipei Chinese Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and has been invited to the United States to perform with ensembles of New York at the Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall.

A renowned huqin performer, Ching Sau-wing has given more than 400 solo performances at concerts locally and abroad and gained critical acclaim as "a virtuoso with the stage presence of a maestro". He is known not only for his virtuoso technique, but also for the beautiful tone, genuine emotion, lingering charm, and intense passion of his renditions.

Apart from his achievements on stage, Ching took advanced courses in Composing and Conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music under Professors Xia Feiyun and He Zhanhao. In recent years, Ching has actively promoted Chinese music in Hong Kong through training ensemble groups such as the Hong Kong City Chinese Orchestra and serving as conductor in many concerts.

Established in 1994, the Hong Kong City Chinese Orchestra has, over the decade, promoted Chinese culture, enhanced the development of Chinese music in the territory, and fostered extensive exchange activities between local and overseas music circles.

The orchestra has released three albums, among which the "Erhu Showpieces by 3 Maestros" recorded with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai National Music Orchestra is one of the best-selling albums in the Asian-Pacific region. In 1997, the orchestra staged "The Love for Our Motherland" in celebration of Hong Kong's reunification with the mainland. In 2000, the orchestra organised five concerts and 11 seminars under "A Retrospective Look at Chinese Music in the 20th Century". Being the first of its kind in the realm of Chinese music, the programme attracted great interest and won rave reviews in the music circles on the Mainland as well as overseas.

"A Concert of Popular Chinese Music" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Tickets priced at $80, $100, $140 (Yuen Long Theatre) and $100 and $140 (Sheung Wan Civic Centre) are now available at URBTIX outlets, while senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

For enquiries about the programmes, call 2268 7321 or visit . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at .

Ends/Wednesday, May 10, 2006
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