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Prelude 1: CY Leo and KJ

12 Jan

Prelude 1: CY Leo and KJ

CY Leo, Kajeng Wong 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm

Event Detail

CY Leo, Harmonica

Cy Leo is a twenty-three year old chromatic harmonica virtuosic player and singer-song writer. Receiving classical harmonica training from Lee Sheung Ching and Watani Yasuo, Leo’s talent in the harmonica has given him widespread international recognition and success.

Leo was always destined to become a harmonica player from a tender age, influenced by his father PC Ho, the founder of the Hong Kong Harmonica Association and the world renowned King’s Harmonica Quintet. He won his first international award as a harmonica soloist at the age of 10 at the Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival. By the age of nineteen, he had accumulated 17 international titles including becoming Solo World Champion twice at the World Harmonica Festival 2009 & 2013.

A frequent guest performer, lecturer and adjudicator at major events, Leo made his appearances at the Seoul International Harmonica Festival, The Asia Pacific International Harmonica Festival, The SWISS Harpers Harmonica Association Gala Concert and The Norwegian Harmonica Festival. In 2017, Leo was invited to compose for the Test Piece Solo Category in the World Harmonica Festival. He will also be one of the adjudicators to select the next World Champion.

Leo’s musical exploration is not only limited to the harmonica circle. In 2016, after graduating from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Leo began his full-time music career as a performer, recording artist and teacher. Leo has been frequently invited as a headliner harmonica soloist on 7 international cruise lines including the prestigious Seabourn, Oceania and Royal Caribbean cruises. His soulful, powerful and skilful performances have received countless standing ovations from large audiences across 40 cities. Patrick McMahon, upon watching Leo in action, was moved to say ‘It was one of the most mind-blowing things I have ever seen’.

He has collaborated with many A-list local artists including Sandy Lam, Lowell Lo, Hacken Lee, Leo Ku and Louis Koo from mainstream music industry. Recently in 2017, Leo’s recording attracted extensive recognition when it appeared in the movie ‘This Is Not What I Expected’ starring Takeshi Kaneshiro. In Lowell Lo’s concert, ‘Beyond Imagination’, at the Hong Kong Coliseum with over ten thousand concert goers, Lowell lauded Leo on stage as ‘the best harmonica player in the world’. Leo has also participated in many local indie and high culture music activities. He has appeared at two of the biggest music festivals in Hong Kong including the 32nd Hong Kong Arts Festival and Clockenflap 2016. Being widely recognized as a classical musician, a jazz musician and a singer-song writer, he has achieved recognition in a great number of musical activities in Hong Kong. His unique stories often attract media attention, and have featured on CCTV 1, TVB, Pearl TV, Ming Pao Daily News, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Economic Journal, Metropop, and the RMM Journal.

Recently in 2017, Leo was invited to launch and direct the first Hong Kong City University harmonica team. His mission is to promote, develop and advance harmonica playing and performance in Hong Kong. As a member of the Veloz Harmonica Quartet, Leo has often appeared in community promotion projects and major government events such as performing at the National Day reception. Leo is also currently the international endorser of Hohner music.

Kajeng Wong, piano

Born in 1990 in Hong Kong, Kajeng (KJ) Wong’s musical ability has brought him to international stages since a very young age. Kajeng studied piano with Nancy Loo for 7 years. He also plays violin, having studied with Yang Bao-zhi, Michael Ma, and Ho Hung-Ying. He has won virtually every category at music contests in Hong Kong during childhood and secondary school years, including awards in solo, duo, string quartet and choral performances.

Having temporary suspended his piano studies for two years during his teenager, Kajeng returned to piano and continued his studies with Professor Gabriel Kwok, and was soon beginning to make appearances at international festivals such as Verbier Music Academy and Piano Texas. He has performed in Europe, UK, USA, China, Southeast Asia and Korea, collaborating with Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong Winds Orchestra and the Indiana University Chamber Orchestra, among others.

Kajeng’s calling to be a musician, as well as a personal note of encouragement from Claude Frank, grew into the decision to study with Emile Naoumoff at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Within two months he was the winner of the School’s piano concerto competition and performed under Maestro Uriel Segal. He is also a semifinalist at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition (2014).

His innovative borderline classical concert, “KJ & NG: Music is Music” in 2009 received critical acclaim for its originality and ground-breaking form. A documentary “KJ – Music & Life” made of Kajeng’s youthful passions, pursuits and ideals, has received awards for Best Editing, Best Documentary and Best Sound Effects from the Gold Horse Awards.

KJ is currently the Artistic Director of Music Lab and Founder of Music Lab Educational Studio, and a freelance columnist. A leading figure of Music Lab Festival, KJ aspires to promote Classical and fusion arts and music with distinctive local flavor.

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