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Talented Hong Kong-based violinist has many bows to her string

Yao Jue has played violin for three Chinese presidents in Hong Kong, most recently Xi Jinping.(Photo: David Wong)

Yao Jue has played violin for three Chinese presidents in Hong Kong, most recently Xi Jinping.(Photo: David Wong)

Violinist Yao Jue considers herself to be Hongkonger after spending more time in city than her native Shanghai; she is also married to son of late Chinese negotiator Lu Ping

by Oliver Chau
With her performance to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, Yao Jue set a record as the only violinist to play for three Chinese presidents in Hong Kong.
A resident of Hong Kong since the handover, Yao played in the presence of Jiang Zemin in 1997, Hu Jintao in 2012 and, on June 30 this year, Xi Jinping – all at official anniversary functions.
Though a member of the Shanghai People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Juilliard-educated violinist considers herself a Hongkonger after having lived here longer than in native Shanghai or as a student in the United States.
“Hong Kong is my home where I started my family and career. For that I am grateful and feel obliged to do something in return,” she says.
She was referring to her marriage to Lu Gong, son of the late director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Lu Ping, who was heavily involved in Hong Kong’s transition arrangements, and their wedding banquet in the city just a week after the 1997 handover.
As the city reflects on its past 20 years as a special administrative region, Yao, having picked up additional roles as a school principal, music director, arts institution board member and mother of two, has her own observations and advice for Hong Kong.
Mainland China’s phenomenal growth means the country is fast catching up economically with Hong Kong, but Yao continues to see the city’s strengths, such as the institutional mechanism in place for charities and arts bodies, which she has introduced to Shanghai over the years.
During my student days in America, when I was unsuccessful, I would not complain or find something to blame. That would not have done me any good. Instead I looked for solutions. I had only US$45 when I arrived in America, and we poor Chinese were looked down upon by others. With the country getting strong, I can walk with my head held high. That’s why I feel very proud to be Chinese. Maybe Hong Kong people did not go through the same emotions from having nothing to something as we did. That’s perhaps the fundamental difference between us. (-South China Morning News)


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