Helen CHA, piano
Currently the Music Director of Musica del Cuore concert series and the Artist-In-Residence at Academia de Musica S. Pio X, Helen Cha enjoys a versatile career as a performer and educator.
A keen solo pianist and collaborative artist, Cha has given concerts in USA, UK, Italy, Belarus, Moldova, South Korea and mainland China, collaborating with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Ballet, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Moldova National Chamber Orchestra, Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra, and with conductors Yip Wing-sie, Takuo Yuasa, Patrick Souillot, Neil Varon, Mikhail Sechkin and Emil de Cou, among others.
A holder of a Doctorate in Musical Arts and Performer’s Certificate from Eastman School of Music, Cha was the former Studio Assistant to her teacher Nelita True, and was subsequently appointed the Lecturer and Coordinator in Performance Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University Department of Music. She has appeared in workshops, lectures and masterclasses, serving regularly as Western Music Advisor for the Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of Music, and has been an adjudicator for local and international competitions. She is the presenter of Radio Television Hong Kong Channel 4 programs “Chamber Fragrance”, “Debussy Recollection” and “Non-Stop Classics” and a featured performer in Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s latest CD recording “This is Classical Music 3” (2014).
GUI Li, violin
Gui Li has been studying the violin since she was five with her grandfather as her very first violin teacher. She made enormous improvements after a major training at Wuhan Conservatory of Music (Middle School Section) and won the Second Prize at the National Violin Competition in China and the Best Performance of a Chinese Composition for solo violin. She then gained a Bachelor’s Degree from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (APA) with a full scholarship and became a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Orchestral Fellow of the Hong Kong Philharmonic in 2006.
Gui Li is an active musician both inside and outside school. Besides taking part in different school concerts and solo recitals, she has also joined different local orchestras and participated in various masterclasses by world-renowned violinists and teachers, such as Joseph Silverstein, Charles Castleman, Lin Cho-liang and Kurt Sassmannshaus. Also, she was the recipient of a number of scholarships from the APA, including the Chan Chung-On Violin Performance Merit Award, The Academy Non-Local Scholarship, Duchess of Kent International Scholarship and The Dorset Foundation Weinrebe and Hosier Scholarship. Moreover, she led a quartet to tour Thailand, as representatives of the APA.
WANG Liang , violin
Wang Liang joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic as a fellow of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Orchestral Fellowship Scheme in 2007. After a year of intensive training, Wang Liang has successfully passed the audition and became a member of the first violin section of the Hong Kong Philharmonic since the 2008/09 season.
Born in Liaoning, China in 1985, Wang Liang studied piano at 4 and violin at 5 under the tutelage of his mother, who was the concertmaster of Liaoning Symphony Orchestra. He was admitted to the junior section of the Shenyang Music Conservatory in 1998 and the Central Conservatory of Music, with full scholarship in 2004.
He was appointed as concertmaster in various orchestras, such as the Shenyang Music Conservatory Youth Orchestra, the orchestra of the 1st and 2nd Canton International Summer Music Academy and the orchestra of the opening concert of the 6th Music Festival organized by the Central Conservatory of Music. Besides, he was the First Prize winner of the 1st and 2nd Shenyang Music Conservatory Violin Competition. In March 2007, he participated in the chamber music masterclass by Rainer Kussmaul (former concert master of the Berlin Philharmonic) and Sadao Harada (former cellist of the Tokyo Quartet).
Ethan HEATH, viola
Ethan Ford Heath, a native of Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A., began playing the viola at age nine. He graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. His teachers included John Graham, Samuel Rhodes, Robert Vernon, Heidi Castleman, Masao Kawasaki, and Yizhak Schotten.
Mr Heath’s performing career began at the age of thirteen when he performed as concerto soloist with orchestra. After coaching with such artists as the Juilliard, Cleveland, Muir, and Colorado Quartets and pianists Samuel Sanders and Anton Nel, he has appeared as chamber musician in venues such as Alice Tully Hall and NYU’s Miller Theater in New York City; at many festivals including the Aspen, Sarasota, and Park City Music Festivals; at the Breckenridge Music Festival, where he also performed as concerto soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra; and in venues around Hong Kong. He continues to play chamber music with various colleagues at every opportunity.
Mr Heath has worked to increase the repertoire of contemporary Viola music, and successfully commissioned the “Concertpiece for Viola and Piano” from the well-known American composer David Diamond.
Mr Heath is an active orchestra musician, having held the position of Assistant Principal Viola in the Akron and Canton Symphonies, and performing with numerous other groups such as the North Carolina Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Asian Friendly Festival Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan, and the Guangzhou Symphony in China. Since joining the Hong Kong Philharmonic in 1998, he has also been invited to play as Guest Assistant Principal of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta on their 2004 European Tour.
Mr. Heath has been teaching regularly since coming to Hong Kong, at various International Schools, ESF schools, independent music academies, and privately, as well as having been an Adjunct Faculty member at Hong Kong Baptist University. His students have received awards of Distinction in many grades of the ABRSM tests; have achieved the levels of ABRSM Diploma, Licentiate, and Fellowship; and have twice won categories of the Hong Kong Schools Music competition, including the Violin Concerto 18-and-Under Category.
Richard BAMPING, cello
Richard Bamping has held the title of Principal Cellist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic since 1993. His many solo appearances with the Philharmonic have been greeted with critical acclaim. He has had a very broad musical education studying cello with Elizabeth Wilson, Raphael Wallfisch, Amedeo Baldovino, Ralph Kirschbaum, Paul Tortelier, David Geringas, Aldo Parisot, Janos Starker, Timothy Hugh and Steven Isserlis. In the field of chamber music, he has studied with the Amadeus, Alban Berg, Delme, Takacs and Allegri String Quartets, and with David Takeno, Eli Goren, Emmanuel Hurwitz, Gyorgy Kurtag, and Peter Norris. As a freelance cellist based in London, Richard Bamping played in many chamber music ensembles performing across the United Kingdom, Europe and the U.S.A. He has also performed with many of the leading orchestras in Europe including the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic and the European Community Chamber Orchestras, and served for four years as Principal ‘Cellist with the London Soloists’ Chamber Orchestra. In 1990, Leonard Bernstein chose Richard Bamping to play Principal Cello for the first Pacific Music Festival in Japan, where he also worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas and Marin Alsop.
In January this year, Richard performed Tan Dun’s The Map concerto in Taiwan and Shenzhen, under the baton of the composer. Richard’s cello, dated 1674 was made in Cremona by Andrea Guarneri and is one of only 8 surviving examples of his work.