Hong Kong Pure Strings

Possessing the passion towards string music and fanatics in performance, Leung Kin Fung, together with Mr. M. K. Wong, founded Hong Kong Pure Strings (HKPS) in April 2004. This is a string ensemble of top string musicians from all over the world where Leung serves as the Artistic Director. HKPS gave its successful premiere concert at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on June 13, 2005. The group is not confined to a specific style or a certain denomination. Under the leadership of Leung Kin Fung, HKPS aims at fusing classical and contemporary music and bringing extraordinary music elements to the audiences.

In April 2004, in order to encourage and strengthen the Hong Kong's Contemporary Music environment, Leung invited nine outstanding Hong Kong composers presenting a "Pure String Project". The project featured premiere on newly composed string works by renowned Hong Kong composers, Chan Wing Wah, Victor Chan, Joshua Chan, Doming Lam, Man-yee Lam, Samuel Lo, Clarence Mak, So Ting Cheong and Richard Tsang. The concert of the "Pure String Project" was successfully held at the concert hall of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and was recorded and edited into DVD. This project helped to promote musical exchange between Hong Kong musicians and composers as well as enhance the awareness of local music compositions in society.

To further convey the spirit and effort, Leung lead the project - Musicarama 2005 on the October 26, 2005. This was an international contemporary music event organized by LCSD and was helded at Hong Kong City Hall Theatre. The concert was a rendezvous between "Hong Kong Pure Strings" and compositions for the strings. Leung, together with fellow players from the ensemble, interpreted works of various nationalities and styles, showcasing the versatility and exploring the limits of familiar instruments. Besides works from the local composers, the concert was included works by international renowned composer Penderecki and renowned Chinese composer Ye Xiaogang.

In the suit of Artistic Director of "Hong Kong Pure Strings", Leung organized a joint concert with six string musicians of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra which was held on November 15, 2005 at Sha Tin Town Hall. This was the first time in Hong Kong that a local music ensemble has a chance to perform with the musicians from the world's top orchestra on the same stage. This concert was definitely serve as a platform to encourage cultural exchange and uplift the overall music and cultural standards in Hong Kong. After that, another successful joint concert with musicians from the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra was helded in Hong Kong Cultural Center, February 19 and 20, 2006.

In 2007, Hong Kong Pure Strings released its first CD "Popsinera" with great reviews. The CD was awarded "The 10 Hottest CD of year 2008" and " The Best Light Music Album of year 2008" by the Canton Radio, China. In 2009, Hong Kong Pure Strings released its second album "Surprise-Happy Birthday". This CD was awarded " The Best Top 10 CD of the year 2009". The group's third CD "From Here to There" was released in year 2011.

Leung Kin Fung, Artistic Director
Kin Fung Leung received the "Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award" in Hong Kong in 2002. Leung was the first Hong Kong musician to win the first prize at the "1992 Young Artist Competition" in New York. He also won the second prize at "The 19th William Primrose International Viola Competition" in 1991. In 1986, he was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Eastman School of Music in the U.S.A. He obtained both his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees of Music from the Manhattan School of Music. Leung continued his studies at the Juilliard School with a full scholarship. He was listed in the "Who's Who in the HKSAR" published by Sing Tao Publishing Ltd in 2004. He was commended for making outstanding achievements in the promotion of arts and culture, under the Secretary for Home Affairs' Commendation Scheme 2005.

Leung enjoys a world-class reputation, as demonstrated by his frequent performances in Italy, Belgium, Russia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, other Asian cities and many American cities, as well as regular concerto performances with orchestras. Leung has represented Hong Kong in many international music events. Since 1989, Leung has held many important posts, including membership of the violin faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in New York from 1989-92, where he had served in 1990 as its Director of Chamber Music. Since 2000, Leung has been the First Associate Concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Director of Hong Kong Pure String. He has also served on the faculty of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Leung has also distinguished himself in the recording world with his solo albums and DVDs. The newest released is Complete 21 Hungarian Dances by J. Brahms, collaborated with the renowned pianist Nancy Loo, and released by the Hugo Production.

Leung performs on the violin made by the Italian violinmaker Santos Serpahin in year 1730.

Joe Lee, Arranger, Composer and harpist
With over 1000 performances during his professional career, Lee's name has been featured in many musical recordings both as a composer and harpist. As the first Asian musician awarded the prestigious prize in Lyon & Healy International Jazz and Pop Harp Competition (1999), he is now active both as a soloist and an ensemble player. Lee's recent performance credits include appearances in The World Harp Conference (2002), Macau Fringe Festival (2004 and 2005), and London's China Art Festival (2005).

Besides playing the harp, Lee is also a productive composer. His compositions and arrangements feature orchestral works, chamber music, and pieces for solo instruments. His orchestra piece, The Temple Square, has been acknowledged as the benchmark in music competition in Taiwan. Lee also composes for TV series, short films, and stage plays. Currently, he serves as the Music Director and principal harpist of the JustMusic Philharmonic Orchestra.

Walter, Ching Tak Chen, 2nd violin
Born in 1986, Walter Chan Ching Tak began studying the violin with Ng Sing Mo and showed his talent at the age of nine. Under the tutelage and encouragement of Mr. Leung Kin Fung( the 1st associate concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic), Walter entered the Kong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2005 and continued his study with Leung Kin Fung, where he graduated with Advanced Diploma and Professional Diploma.

During studying in HKAPA, he has performed as a freelance musician for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfornietta. He has paticipaed in a number of opera and ballet projects, including the Romeo and Juliet( with the Hong Kong Philharmonic), the Nutcracker and performed in Italia Festival in June,2009 (with Hong Kong Sinfornietta).

Besides classical world, Walter Chan also engaged in many musicals and pop music concerts. He has be invited to be the musician of the world famous Broadway musical "the Phantom of the Opera" during their world tour in Hong Kong in 2006. He has also performed with many famous pop singer and composers including Jacky Cheung, Leo Koo and Jeff Chang, and performed in the Welcome reception of the President of the International Olympics Commitee Count Rogge in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Meidad Yehudayan, Violist
A native of Israel, Meidad Yehudayan performs around the world, as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He has performed a few viola concertos including Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola in New York, Hong Kong and Israel. Yehudayan was also invited to play solo at the main event of the World Peace Festival 2005 in Korea in which all proceeds from the festival were donated to UNICEF.

Yehudayan received his Bachelor of Music Degree and Artist Diploma in the Faculty of Performing Arts from the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. He had the honor to be the first and only Israeli student to be sent to the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia from which he received a diploma under the guidance of Yuri Bashmet and Professor Fiodor Druzhinin. Subsequently, he acquired his Master of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Michael Tree, violist of the Guarneri String Quartet and Pinchas Zukerman.

Yehudayan was a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong String Quartet between 1995-2001. He participated in the Geneva Competition in 1992 and was prize winner of many competitions in Israel. He has performed many recitals in Israel, America and Europe, and recorded for Israeli National Radio & RTHK (Radio 4) in Hong Kong. Yehudayan is the Orchestra and Strings Director at Hong Kong International School since 2001.

Artem Konstantinov, Cellist
Artem Konstantinov was born in Russia in 1976 to a family of musicians. Since the early childhood, he has been keen on music. At the age of seven, he began to learn to play cello. At the age of 15, he received 2 prizes in the first international competition "Assemblies of Arts" in Moscow. After a successful debut on an international competition (Moscow 1990 second prize), the Moscow Tchaikovsky College invited him for continuation of formation in a class of Professor A. Seleznyov. Many concerts and performances together with the professor have brought much advantage and experience. Having performed in the Moscow Conservatory, Konstantinov has been enlisted in a class of Professor K. Rodin. During the years in the Conservatory, he became the winner of the second premium in the International Competition of Chamber Music (Italy 1995), and the winner of the Russian Competition of Cellists (Russia 1997). Konstantinov then studied with such cello masters as: K. Rodin, A. Kniazev, N. Shahovskaja, A. Rudin, M. Tarasova. Upon termination of study at the Conservatory, Konstantinov continued on a Doctor's degree in London (England) Guildhall College in a class of Professor S. Popov. Having performed in concerts of solo and chamber music, Konstantinov has plenty of performing experience with orchestras in Europe and Asia. In China, he has performed with the Beijing National Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. He has done several premiere of the cello music in China, including D. Shostakovich's Concert No.1, S. S. Prokofiev's the Concert-symphony for cello and orchestra, and L. Bernstein's Meditation for a cello and orchestra. He has a pretty big repertory from music of baroque to contemporary. In 2005, Konstantinov became principal cellist in the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, guest professor at the School of Arts (Shenzhen) and honorable professor of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music.

Eddie, Xiao Qian Zong, Bassist
Being the former Principal Bass of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995, Eddie Zong is a distinguished musician with an international reputation. He has performed as double bass soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta, Xi'an Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, among others, and has participated in several major festivals including Aspen, Blue Lake, Keystone, Missouri, Spoleto, Village Bach and Fukuoka Asian Music Festival. Zong was also acting Principal Bass of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans from 1992-94, Principal Bass with the Israel Sinfonietta (Mendi Rodan, Music Director) from 1989-91, and Principal Bass of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra from 1987-89 (Kenneth Kiesler and Tsung Yeh, Music Directors).

Born in China to a musical family, Zong began his music studies at an early age and later attended the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where he had received the Exceptional Outstanding Students Fellowship for three years. A few years later, he also received a full scholarship from Indiana University and earned his Master of Music degree, in 1998. His major teachers include Lawrence Hurst, Bruce Bransby, Stuart Sankey and Murry Grodner.

Zong also gives master classes at The Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, Hong Kong Institute of Education and Hong Kong Baptist University. He has performed with various chamber music groups such as the Moscow Soloists and Hong Kong Soloists, and has given recitals in China, U.S.A. and Hong Kong. Dedicated to music education for youth, he teaches at Yip's Children Music Center, Hong Kong Music Office and at various primary and secondary schools; he has also conducted the Hong Kong Children's Orchestra. Some of his students over the years now perform with ensembles such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Pan Asia Symphony and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra.

He plays the "Dominicus Angelucci" bass, made in Italy circa 1800.