PENANG: The name Jeanette Wong may not ring a bell in the local music scene but the petite Kuala Lumpur-born pianist has been making waves in Europe.
Wong, 27, has won several international music awards in England and Sweden, both as a solo artiste and as part of the JMDuo which she formed with another renown pianist, Michael Linne, also 27.
The two have recorded a self-titled album and have held concerts in the two countries as well as in France and Spain. The Swedish Chamber Music Association named them Young and Promising Artistes in 2001.
After being away from Malaysia for six years, London-based Wong has returned for a debut performance in her home country at a charity show, A Timeless Musical Journey, in aid of the Cerebral Palsy (Spastic) Childrens Association in Penang.
Wong and Linne will perform in the segment Piano 4 Hands during the charity show, to be held on Aug 29 at the Dewan Sri Pinang.
Interviewed here recently, the former SM Kepong student said she started piano lessons at the age of seven.
The interest in music has always been in my family as my father, a retired school headmaster, also plays the piano, said Wong, who has two brothers and a younger sister.
At 19, she entered the Seimpi Music Academy in Kuala Lumpur and obtained her diploma in music. She won a bursary to pursue music at the Birmingham Conservatoire in England and graduated first class in Bachelor of Music and later obtained her Masters degree with distinction.
At the Conservatoire, Wong won several awards, including the Beryl Chempin Beethoven Prize, the Denis Matthews Memorial Trust Award and the Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize.
She was named for the Birmingham Conservatoire Postgraduate Prize for her overall excellent performance in her course.
Wong, who is also a mezzo-soprano singer, said she had always liked performing on stage.
I also prefer classical music to other types of music and am amazed by the wonderful pieces written by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Chopin, she said.
On the upcoming show, Wong said: It is an honour to raise funds through our music for these children.
She added that she and Linne would play light-hearted classical music inspired and written for children.
The charity event will also feature choir performances by local groups, The Voices of Love and Fingerprints.
Organising chairman Vincent Tan said they hoped to raise about RM65, 000 for the association to carry out its rehabilitation programmes for children with cerebral palsy.
Tickets to the performance at 7.30pm are available by donation from RM20 onwards. They can be obtained from the association at 425 Jalan Mesjid Negri (04-6570160) or call Vincent (04-2288322), Saw Hock Eng (019-4720831), Teoh Siew Fong (012-4898077) or Ammy Khoo (04-2296893).