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Twin Cellists to appear with HKPO in ‘A Swire New Generation Concert - Cello World’ this weekend

15 May 2007

Hong Kong, 15 May 2007 – Twin cellists Pei-Jee and Pei-Sian Ng have just finished a rehearsal of Finnish composer Kalevi Aho’s Concerto for two cellos with guest conductor Rumon Gamba and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Their teamwork was so perfect it sounded like one person playing. The sound of the cellos, so close to the human voice, made one feel they were speaking in one’s very own language. The twenty-two-year-olds will make their official debut performance with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra this Friday and Saturday. 

Musically, do they benefit from being twin brothers? “Definitely! I feel that I can trust him completely. In my experience of performing duets with Jee, we can make spontaneous decisions. It’s really fun. Although we are very different players, we know how each other play and each other’s taste. That understanding helps,” says Pei-Sian.

“But I think when we first learnt the piece, we worked a lot…. so a lot of the groundwork was done at the beginning and then, now, we can enjoy it. It will be our fifth time [playing the Aho concerto]. It gets easier, and we have more appreciation of the music,” added Pei-Jee.

The two cellists, born in Sydney to Malaysian Chinese parents, will also appear with the Orchestra in two beloved works by Tchaikovsky: Pei-Sian in Pezzo Capriccio and Pei-Jee in the Rococo Variations.

Both are star students of the world renowned Ralph Kirshbaum at the Royal Northern College of Music. Pei-Jee was named Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year in 2001; both are recipients of numerous scholarships and awards. They recently made their UK debut with Sinfonia ViVA in works by Tan Dun: Pei-Jee performed the Crouching Tiger Cello Concerto, while Pei-Sian performed Intercourse of Fire and Water.

The conductor they will be working with this week is the perfect choice for this programme: British-born conductor Rumon Gamba was the conductor of the premiere of Kalevi Aho’s Concerto for two cellos at the Manchester International Cello Festival in England with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004.

“This concerto strikes me as a very Nordic piece - the harmonies, as well as the way the melodies move. It’s like going into a Nordic forest. It begins very effectively with the two cellos having a bit of a fight or a pull, and then it gets a bit mysterious in the middle, with the woodwinds, and they you have to find your way out and in the end it is all resolved,” said Gamba. “It is a three-way dialogue between the Orchestra and the two cellists.”

Gamba is currently Chief Conductor Music Director of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra with whom he has developed a deep and fruitful relationship, including recording projects with the Chandos label. He has led such prominent orchestras as Munich Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, NDR Hamburg, SWR Stuttgart and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.

Photos download:

Twin cellists Pei-Jee (left) and Pei-Sian Ng in rehearsal with guest conductor Rumon Gamba and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra:

Ng Pei-Sian:

Ng Pei-Jee:

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Programme Information
A Swire New Generation Concert: Cello World
18&19 | 5 | 2007
Friday and Saturday
HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall
8 PM
$300, $240, $160, $100
Reservations: 2734 9009
Credit Card booking: 2111 5999
Enquiries: 2721 2030


Rumon Gamba


Pei-Jee & Pei-Sîan Ng




William Tell: overture


Pezzo Capriccioso


Rococo Variations


Appalachian Spring

Kalevi Aho

*Concerto for two violoncelli and orchestra

*Due to a change of programme, Koehne’s The Sleep of Reason has been replaced by Kalevi Aho’s Concerto for two violoncelli and orchestra.

Cello World is a SWIRE New Generation concert.

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The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is rapidly emerging as Asia’s leading orchestra, since internationally renowned Edo de Waart joined as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor in the 2004/05 Season. Throughout the last three decades, the Orchestra has grown into a formidable ensemble of Chinese and international talents, attracting world-class artists to perform on the same stage. It gives over a hundred performances annually, many of which are highly anticipated events in the city’s cultural calendar. The Hong Kong Philharmonic reaches out to the community with such diverse activities as a comprehensive music-in-education programme for primary and secondary school students, performances at university campuses, an annual project with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to help nurture aspiring professionals, free pre-concert talks that provides in-depth knowledge of music and musicians and an open-air concert that gives the public free access to classical music.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the HKSAR Government.

SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.