There was a very special concert in Hong Kong last week. It had been planned for months, as part of Colorado Children’s Chorale tour, but in the past few weeks it took on a new, deeper purpose: Honoring the life of ACFEA’s beloved Hong Kong Manager, Camus Leung, who passed away at the beginning of April.
Those of us who were lucky enough to have worked with Camus over the
years immediately think of the amazingly hard worker she was, so delightful and easy to befriend. Whether she was sharing homemade jewelry or making sure visitors saw the best Hong Kong had to share, she was incredibly generous with her talents and energy.
That energy fueled quite a career, both in managing concerts in Hong Kong for ACFEA as well as in running her own tour company, which she did for years. It was also poured into her family, including her caring parents and sisters, her beloved husband Thomas (pictured with Camus, below) who she had been married to since 1997, and their two beautiful children, Natali and Luis.
As ACFEA North America President Hugh Davies mentioned in remarks he shared at the concert, Camus worked right up to the end of her life, emailing him about arrangements for that very performance — the one that would eventually be in her memory — just two days before she died.
I first met Camus sometime around 1989, and was instantly charmed by this delightful, energetic, enthusiastic Cantonese woman.
Camus initially worked with us as courier for many groups, including on several major tours in the PRC. However, she was far too ambitious and restless (impatient?) to be content with that for long, and increasingly took responsibility (in partnership with musical consultants: first, Andrew Cheung of Hong Kong Baptist University, and now Esther Yu of Qin Music) for all our groups´ arrangements in Hong Kong and Macau.
Camus and I slipped seamlessly between being colleagues and friends, always interspersed by her relentless campaign to ensure that I ate in every Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong.
Camus’s determination not to let cancer beat down her spirit was inspirational and humbling, as she continued to take long family trips to Denmark and to attend ACFEA’s meetings all around the world. She lived life to the full, and was appreciated and respected by all – and loved by many – who were lucky enough to know her. As she wrote so beautifully, using her own unapologetic version of English, in her cleverly posthumous Facebook post, ‘I live my life happy and the way I could have done if I would be born again.’
Thank you, Camus, for all you did, for so many people, for too short a time.
Photos of Camus are courtesy of her family. Photo of Hugh Davies and the Colorado Children’s Chorale are courtesy of the Colorado Children’s Chorale.