Raymond Young Chap-lai is a sentimental man - so sentimental that he was moved to tears by the upbeat Dancing Queen number in the Mamma Mia musical. But this is also the very quality that keeps the pianist in touch with his music. Since he was a teenager, Young has sought the piano for comfort whenever he has been in pain, playing and singing along to church hymns as tears ran down his cheeks. The 38-year-old's most memorable performance was a recital at City Hall this month. He dedicated Brahms' Intermezzo to his late father, who died last August. The piece was one of the German composer's last works before he died. 'I was not attached to my father, since I was independent at a very young age,' he said. 'But it has been very hard to come to terms with the death of a close family member. He was only 63. 'I cried when I played. To be a musician, all the emotions are real. You have to be sincere when you play.' Mamma Mia, the musical based on the songs of the 1970s group Abba, now playing in Hong Kong, moved him because the characters and music, particularly Dancing Queen, brought back memories. Young is one of about a dozen local pianists well known in Hong Kong music circles. He is not recognised internationally and says he has no ambition for that kind of stardom. 'I've thought about it, but realised that the possibility was not big,' Young said. 'Many things have to be working. There needs to be good personal contacts and an agent to do the marketing.' Young discovered his love for music when he played the violin at age 11. He made the switch to piano only after his parents bought one for his younger sister a year later. Before graduating from secondary school, he decided to continue studying piano in Vienna. Young and another player won the gold medal in the two-piano section at the International Piano Competition in Rome in 1994. A year later, he won the promising musician award 'Forderungspreis' from the Braunschweig International Music Festival in Germany. Young did not return to Hong Kong until he was 29, realising it was time to start earning a living. He has been teaching at schools including the Academy for Performing Arts and Chinese University. His goal now is to bring his music to rural mainland villages. In a recent trip to Haifeng, Guangdong province, he drew more than 1,000 people in the village's first piano recital. 'The audience there rarely gets in touch with classical music. So I want to bring that to them.'