Orchestras play at Liu Yuen-sung's 70th birthday party

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, 3:14am

It's not every day that members of two orchestras and arts executives get to listen to pop songs sung by a senior government official and a violin professor. Yet that's what happened at the birthday party of Liu Yuen-sung, chairman of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and SAR (Sweet and Romantic) Philharmonic orchestras.

Violinist-turn-businessman Liu, who turned 70, has been an active player in local classical music since the 1950s. Little surprise, then, that the Monday evening party at the Convention and Exhibition Centre attracted the city's leading musicians and arts executives.

It was a surprise, however, when Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Raymond Young Lap-moon picked up the microphone and sang one of Emil Chau Wa-kin's hit Putonghua songs. More surprises ensued, as Michael Ma, head of strings at the Academy for Performing Arts, joined the group singing The Platters' song Only You.

The gig would have been incomplete without a string quartet, brass trio, and a superb violin solo by concertmaster Igor Yuzefovich in a Viennese song beautifully delivered by soprano Angela Hodgins.

The cheering crowd included West Kowloon Cultural District Authority chief executive Michael Lynch and his wife, Chrissy Sharp, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau deputy secretary Salina Yan Mei-mei, and former Central Policy Unit director Gordon Siu Kwing-chue, who was once Liu's string quartet partner. Oliver Chou