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Tribute concert celebrates Cheung

Updated: 2013-03-25 11:27
By Chen Nan (China Daily)

Tribute concert celebrates Cheung
Actor Yu Shaoqun is the storyteller at the memorial concert for Leslie Cheung, narrating the star's life story. Provided to China Daily

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the death of beloved Canto-pop singer and movie idol Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing. A group of young musicians from the Central Conservatory of Music will present a concert to remember the star.

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Launching his singing career by winning the 1977 Asian Music Contest with Don McLean's American Pie, Cheung recorded more than 30 albums and appeared in nearly 60 movies. To fully represent the artist's career, the concert will present Cheung's life story.

Nearly 20 popular songs by Cheung, including his first hits - The Wind Blows On, Monica, Red, and Silence Is Golden, will be performed by musicians including clarinet player Wang Tao, cellist Zhu Mu, pianist Chen Xinruo and guzheng player Su Chang.

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Actor Yu Shaoqun, who starred in the remake version of 1987's hit movie, A Chinese Ghost Story, in which Cheung played the leading role, will act as the storyteller in the concert, introducing the star's life story to audiences.

"He's lit up the screens for more than two decades. Both the movie, A Chinese Ghost Story, which I played in, and the role as narrator in the concert are my salute to the cultural icon," Yu says.

The concert will also be accompanied by film footage and stills projected onto a big screen.

The musicians say music is a critical part of any Cheung movie. The orchestra will also play music from 1990's Days of Being Wild, for which Cheung took the best-actor prize at the 1991 Hong Kong Film Awards, Ashes of Time in 1994 and Happy Together in 1997.

One of the most successful films Cheung starred in was Farewell My Concubine, directed by Chen Kaige in 1992. In the movie, Cheung portrayed a Peking Opera singer, who was acclaimed for his performances of female roles.

The movie was the first Chinese movie to win the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival. It won more than 20 other film awards and an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film.

Cheung's performance in the film won him international fame as well as making him a fixture in the Chinese mainland's film industry.

The theme song of the movie, which has been rearranged for the orchestra, will be played in the concert.

Cheung was suffering from depression when he leaped to his death on April 1, 2003, at the age of 46. His last concert series opened in 2000 and his last movie was the psychological horror film Inner Senses in 2002.

The musicians staged a Beijing concert in January with only three Cheung's songs. After the warm feedback from the audience, they have decided to go deeper.

If you go:

7:30pm. April 1. At Century Theater.

No. 40 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang district, Beijing. 400-610-3721, 010-64177845