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Experience a New Take on Rhapsody in Blue with
Virtuoso Pius Cheung and his Magic Marimba
Asian Première of Bright Sheng's Colours of Crimson
under the Baton of Singaporean Conductor Joshua Tan

1 FEB 2012

Hong Kong

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[1 February 2012 – Hong Kong] Chinese-Canadian Pius Cheungis recognized as one of the world’s most gifted young marimba artists, famed for both his wonderfully colourful performances and his adaptations of standard classical repertory. On 23&24 March Cheung will perform his own adaptation of Gershwin’s famous Rhapsody in Blue for marimba and orchestra. He will also give the Asian première of Bright Sheng’s Colours of Crimson – Fantasy for Marimba and Orchestra, both works under the baton of Singaporean conductor Joshua Tan. Also on the programme are works by Bartók and Milhaud.

Swire New Generation: “Colours of Marimba, Pius Cheung” will be held on 23&24 March 2012 (Fri & Sat) 8pm in the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. Free Pre-concert Talk Swire Classic Insight will be given at 7pm on both nights, also at the Hong Kong City Hall.

Pius Cheung, marimba

“Clear voicing, eloquent phrasing and wide range of colour and dynamic”

---The New York Times

After winning First Prize in the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Chinese-Canadian marimbist Pius Cheung made débuts at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, and at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Recent engagements have included a concerto performance of Creston’s Marimba Concerto with the Simon Sinfonietta (MA), appearances with Stratford Summer Music in Ontario and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Alondra de la Parra in Alberta, and recitals at the Cosmos Club in Washington, the Oberlin College Conservatory, the International Marimba Conference and Festival in Minnesota, and his Japanese recital début at the Japan National Percussion Association Festival, where he served as guest artist and competition judge.

Born in Hong Kong, he moved to Vancouver with his family at the age of 12 and received his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, his Artist Diploma from The Boston Conservatory and his Doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Joshua Tan, conductor
Currently the Assistant Conductor of the National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra in Beijing, Singaporean Joshua Tan was 2nd Prize winner at the 2008 Dimitri Mitropoulos International Competition and has won numerous other awards and scholarships, including the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award. He is the first ever recipient of the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize from the Juilliard School for outstanding achievement.

In 2006 he was conducting fellow under Charles Dutoit with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and in 2008 he was awarded a fellowship to the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen under David Zinman. Recent engagements have included débuts with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Macao Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and the Musical Olympus International Festival in St Petersburg.

Rhapsody in Blue crowns this programme, but in an entirely new guise. The ultimate statement in symphonic jazz will be performed by Pius Cheung in his own adaptation for marimba and orchestra. Paired with it is Darius Milhaud’s scintillating and toe-tapping French/Brazilian romp, The Ox on the Roof.  

Bright Sheng’s Colours of Crimson is a blending of the marimba’s unique sound with the orchestral palette. Using a love song which he wrote while living in Qinghai, Bright Sheng creates a sound world where marimba and orchestra enrich each other. Bridging these two works is Bartók’s Dance Suite, featuring lively Hungarian folk dance rhythms.

Swire New Generation: “Colours of Marimba, Pius Cheung
23&24 |3| 2012
HK City Hall Concert Hall
HK$280 $200 $140 $100
Available at URBTIX now



Joshua Tan


Pius Cheung*



Click the thumbnail to download photos 






Colours of Crimson – Fantasy for Marimba and Orchestra* (Asian Première)


Dance Suite


The Ox on the Roof


Rhapsody in Blue  *



Ticketing Information


Credit Card Booking
(852) 2111 5999
Online Booking

For programme enquiry, please call HKPO at
(852) 2721 2030


Edo de Waart
Artistic Director and Chief Conductor

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) is one of Asia's leading orchestras. Enriching Hong Kong's cultural life for over a century, the Orchestra has grown into a formidable ensemble of Chinese and international talents, attracting world-class artists to collaborate on its stage. HKPO annually touches the lives of over 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances including its extensive education programme HSBC Insurance Creative Notes and free concerts such as the popular Swire Symphony under the Stars, and regular broadcasts and telecasts. Outside of Hong Kong, the HKPO has made a number of critically acclaimed tours in Asia and Europe.

The 2011/12 season will mark Maestro Edo de Waart's eighth and final season with the HKPO. Apart from his own series of five special programmes which are summaries of his achievements with the Orchestra over the last seven years, ending with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the new season will also attract a stellar cast of great artists and guest conductors.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre


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