small talk

Ahead of the clas­si­cal mu­sic fes­ti­val he founded, cel­e­brated cel­list Trey Lee dis­cusses the need for cross-cul­tural ex­po­sure for the ris­ing stars of the Hong Kong scene

Hong Kong Tatler - - Contents -

Cel­e­brated cel­list Trey Lee on groom­ing tal­ent and this month’s Mu­si­cus Fest

Hong kong-born cel­list Trey Lee is hailed as a “mir­a­cle” by Gramo­phone mag­a­zine for a vir­tu­os­ity it says com­bines in­tel­lec­tual so­phis­ti­ca­tion with emo­tional depth, and has per­formed with es­teemed con­duc­tors and or­ches­tras around the world. His al­bums have topped the clas­si­cal mu­sic charts and he ap­peared this year as the fea­tured soloist with the BBC Phil­har­monic at the Shang­hai Ori­en­tal Arts Cen­tre. Trey co-founded the Mu­si­cus So­ci­ety in 2010 to gain more ex­po­sure for Hong Kong artists and stu­dents to dis­tin­guished lo­cal and over­seas artists. The char­i­ta­ble so­ci­ety sup­ports mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion for stu­dents of all so­cial back­grounds to fos­ter cul­tural am­bas­sadors for Hong Kong. Mu­si­cus Fest, now in its third year and spon­sored by Credit Suisse and Breguet, is the so­ci­ety’s four-day cel­e­bra­tion of clas­si­cal mu­sic in Hong Kong. Trey founded the fes­ti­val and is its artis­tic di­rec­tor. Fifty es­tab­lished mu­si­cians will per­form along­side ris­ing lo­cal stars at sev­eral venues from Novem­ber 25-29. mu­si­cus­so­ci­ety.org

Why the cello, and do you play any other in­stru­ments?

The cello was ac­tu­ally my mother’s choice. One of my sis­ters al­ready played the pi­ano and the other the vi­o­lin, there­fore my mother picked the cello for me so she would have a pleas­ing-sound­ing trio. Other than the cello, I have a hand­made ukulele that I bought in a shop in Ber­lin and am learn­ing to play via Youtube tu­to­ri­als.

If you weren’t a cel­list what would you be do­ing?

I would love to be an ar­chae­ol­o­gist. I have been on digs in Is­rael and France and am fas­ci­nated by arte­facts from our past.

How do the clas­si­cal mu­sic scenes of Asia and Europe dif­fer?

In Europe one feels the weight of clas­si­cal mu­sic’s his­tory and a re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­tinue tra­di­tions. Asia has a much younger, more vi­brant scene. The av­er­age age of play­ers and au­di­ences in Asia is 30, whereas in the West the de­mo­graphic is ageing—some­thing the West is def­i­nitely be­gin­ning to worry about when con­sid­er­ing who their fu­ture au­di­ences will be.

What in­spired you to es­tab­lish the Mu­si­cus So­ci­ety?

I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in New York and cur­rently live in Ber­lin, so I’ve seen how clas­si­cal mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion func­tions in dif­fer­ent coun­tries. I re­alised that Hong Kong was lack­ing some of the ex­tracur­ric­u­lar as­pects of a rounded clas­si­cal mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion that ex­ist in the West, such as fes­ti­vals, mas­ter­classes and op­por­tu­ni­ties to net­work and per­form with older, es­tab­lished mu­si­cians, so I es­tab­lished the Mu­si­cus So­ci­ety and Fest in an ef­fort to fill some of th­ese gaps.

What will be the high­lights of this year’s fes­ti­val?

I’m ex­cited about how we are able to pair ris­ing stars with in­ter­na­tional soloists. For ex­am­ple, we have an 80-year-old master pi­anist, Bruno Canino, play­ing a Mozart dou­ble pi­ano con­certo with 23-year-old Rachel Che­ung. We also have ris­ing pi­anist Colleen Lee play­ing a Men­delssohn dou­ble con­certo with the Korean vi­o­lin­ist Dong­suk Kang. The Lon­don Cham­ber Orches­tra, which played at the wed­ding of Prince Wil­liam and Kate Middleton, is also per­form­ing.

take a bow Trey Lee per­forms dur­ing the open­ing con­cert of last year’s Mu­si­cus Fest at City Hall

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.