Inaugural Concert of the RTHK Chamber Soloists

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Inaugural Concert of the RTHK Chamber Soloists

(1) Concert in All Saints’ Cathedral
Date:21/11/2018 (Wed)
Venue :All Saints’ Cathedral, 11 Pak Po Street, Mongkok

(2) Concert in Studio One
Date :28/11/2018 (Wed)
Time :8:00pm
Venue: RTHK Studio 1

Enquiry: 23396425

This summer, Radio 4 was delighted to witness the birth of ‘The RTHK Chamber Soloists’. The group represents RTHK Radio 4’s long-term vision to promote the making and appreciation of chamber music. Two members from its predecessor – the RTHK Quartet – violinist Le Hoai-nam and cellist Laurent Perrin are joined by violinist and violist Andrew Ling, clarinettist John Schertle, and pianist Colleen Lee to reach out to you with a mix of classical masterpieces.

While committed to the standard Western repertoire, the ensemble also commissions and performs new works by Hong Kong composers. In their inaugural concerts this November, you will hear two of these – Quintet by Elliot Leung, and Piano Quintet No. 2 by Meilina Tsui. Currently Principal Violist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong–native Andrew has enjoyed playing chamber music with renowned musicians such as Yuja Wang, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, and Ning Feng. He is particularly excited about this new opportunity to support local music and new music, and he’s looking forward to bringing new elements to our audience and to our city through ‘The RTHK Chamber Soloists’. His partner musicians are equally thrilled. John Schertle, from California and Co-principal Clarinettist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, is equally adept on auxiliary instruments. Whether Schertle performs as a soloist or tutti player on the clarinet in various sizes, he is equally at ease. This is perfect preparation for chamber music playing, as John believes that everyone is a leader in any chamber group, so it is important to know when to lead, and when to support others. The uniqueness of each chamber performance thrills him, as there is never the same sound twice, nor the same type of music. Pianist Colleen Lee, another Hong Kong native, also promises beautiful music with great diversity with ‘The RTHK Chamber Soloists’. Colleen achieved international recognition after winning 6th Prize at the 15th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, and has performed extensively around the world in recitals and as featured soloist. As an enthusiastic chamber musician, she frequently appears in chamber music festivals such as the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, the Musicusfest and collaborates with many instrumentalists and chamber groups, including the Shanghai Quartet.

A New Sound Now it is easy to see how the newcomers get all excited, but what about members of our former Quartet? Le Hoai-nam believes that the new formation not only allows members to develop their solo playing, but also the ability to listen to each other intently and to play with extreme sensitivity to strike the perfect balance, as the new addition of non-string instruments changes the timbre of the ensemble quite dramatically. For cellist Laurent Perrin, a chamber ensemble in any form is the most intimate way of music making and sharing and is simply the best; it is not surprising that this is coming from a dedicated musician and teacher who places a heavy focus in helping students appreciate music, and not just learning technique. One such lucky student was Elliot Leung, one of our featured new composers, who studied the cello under Laurent as a teenager.

New Works from Hong Kong Composers Elliot Leung has had a prolific career in film music since a fairly young age: while conducting a school concert at the age of 15, he was spotted by film director Lam Chiu-yin Dante. In between massive film scores, Elliot has enjoyed writing smaller works, including Quintet for ‘The RTHK Chamber Soloists’. When asked if there was a story behind the work, Leung indicated that he deliberately did not write any hints in the title so that the audience can listen to the music with no preconceptions and can weave their own story. He admitted to being particularly drawn to fast music though, so there are passages which he says require perfect ‘chemistry’ between the players. He also tailored the parts for the players rather than the instruments, revising some of the clarinet and viola sections after meeting John and Andrew for the first time. To Elliot, the title of this new work should be called: ‘Nam, Andrew, John, Laurent, and Colleen’. Another new work to be featured by ‘The RTHK Chamber Soloists’ is the Piano Quintet No. 2 by Meilina Tsui, who is currently working on her Doctorate in Composition at the University of Michigan. When asked how she would compare the new work with her Piano Quintet No. 1 (for piano and string quartet), and whether the piano part would take prominence since she is a pianist herself, she revealed that all parts are equally distributed but the work has an improved timbre due to the addition of a woodwind instrument. She has also combined traditional western classical music with folk elements in the work, making it more a truly ‘local’ work. On top of the new compositions, the ensemble will be bringing you works by Crusell, Piazzolla, Martinů, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schumann in the ensemble’s fabulous inaugural concerts and a Music of Friends programme recorded in RTHK Studio Two. Don’t miss ‘The RTHK Chamber Soloists’ on Radio 4 this November!

Elliot Leung: Quintet
Crusell: Clarinet Quartet No.3 in D, Op. 7
Piazzolla: Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Meilina Tsui: Piano Quintet No. 2