Shocking tragedy: Young orchestra manager dies during badminton game

We’ve received terrible news from Hong Kong. Ambrose Yeung, the popular and capable orchestra director of the Philharmonic, died suddenly today during a game of badminton. Newly married, he was at work as usual in the morning and dropped dead during the game in the afternoon. Tonight’s concert was called off an hour before its scheduled start. The players were too shocked to go on.

Our sympathies to Ambrose’s heartbroken family and colleagues. 

hkphilambrose yeung

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  • I was due to record the performance for radio broadcas, with a normal rehearsal this morning starting off with Mahler 4. Maestro van Zweden encouraged the orchestra that the fine tunings were just making things fly off. “Don’t be too depressing,” Jaap said. Ambrose was seen at the backstage, just as normally as every rehearsal. A few hours after, the orchestra and other colleagues, we the broadcasting team, learnt the news of Ambrose’s sudden death. The orchestra members were silent on stage, quite in disbelief. The backstage crew, and colleagues from the venue (who are working for different companies) were all in tears. I saw a friend of mine learning the news with a stunning face and tears dropping down. He was a nice person and, although not being with the orchestra myself, I started to missed his “five minute calls.” He will be missed.

  • I was so shocked to hear this news today. I joined the Hong Kong Philharmonicin 1998, around the same time as Ambrose, and worked with him for 13 years until I left. He was an amazingly conscientious orchestra manager, who was not only efficient in all that he did, but who cared deeply about the orchestra, the players and the guest soloists and conductors. He would share our excitement and pleasure after a particularly good concert, and was incredibly supportive when times were bad. As chairman of the Players’ Committee for several years, I worked closely with Ambrose on many issues, both major and minor, and he always listened and did his utmost to resolve a situation. But most importantly, I considered Ambrose to be a very good friend. We played golf together, shared a drink on tour and always enjoyed some gossip backstage. I know many of the players also see him that way – he was extremely popular, and I am not surprised that they felt unable to perform tonight, especially a piece that carries such emotion as Mahler 4. Ambrose was an absolutely integral member of the Hong Kong Phil family, and will be greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues there, as well as those of us who have moved on. RIP.

  • I’m very, very sorry to hear this. Ambrose was my contact when I was invited (on extremely short notice) to fill in for a guest principal violist who had a family emergency a few years ago. Of course all the travel arrangements were flawless. What really impressed me was, after I’d asked him for some advice about a gift for my wife, he asked me on the day I left if I’d gotten it. When I told him I hadn’t found it, he immediately got in his car and came back 20 minutes later with what we’d discussed. A lovely man.

    My sympathies to his family and to the members of the orchestra.

  • Very sad to read this news. Ambrose was an absolute delight to work with. He was a genuine friend to all in the orchestra, as well as being a colleague who you could rely on to be flawlessly efficient in his work.

    As I sit here thinking back to the days when I knew him, the overwhelming image is of that boyishly charming smile of his and what a wonderfully positive person he was. I know he will be sorely missed and my thoughts go out to his loved ones.

  • What Mark said above is absolutely right. I had the privilege of working with Ambrose as a member of the HK Phil for four years. He was always there on the side of the stage ready to celebrate with you, give you encouragement, or just joke around. I was always amazed at how he could handle even the toughest situations with such professional integrity, respect for the people involved, and an optimistic lightheartedness. The HK Phil family, past and present, is absolutely heartbroken. Our dear Ambrose, Rest in Peace.

  • Despite I only know him for those short years I freelanced with the orchestra, he is a man who cared for everyone as little as me, all those support & laugh at the backstage- you made all the difference. Ambrose , you will be very much missed. Rest in Peace.

  • An incredibly sad day for the orchestra and its past and present members.

    On turning up in HK in 2005 to join the orchestra as a very green recent graduate, and not knowing anybody in town, Ambrose was the first person I met here. After arriving from the airport and feeling somewhat overwhelmed, he came to meet me at the hotel and took me down to the local train station where he bought me an Octopus (Oyster) card, then to a local supermarket. He arranged to meet me for lunch the next day where he also gave me a tour of the orchestra hall and office.

    A little while later I realised that none of it was actually in his “job description” and that he would just go the extra mile to make people feel genuinely welcome and “at home”. Mine is one of literally hundreds of similar stories about Ambrose, someone who wanted to show friendship to the musicians alongside carrying out his professional duties.

    It’s hard to imagine how things will operate without him, but for a short while it doesn’t matter.

  • A very sad day for the orchestra and its past and present members.

    A personal story about Ambrose; on arriving in HK to join the orchestra as a very green recent graduate and not knowing anybody in town, he was the first person I met here. After arriving from the airport and feeling somewhat overwhelmed, he came to meet me at my hotel, took me down to the local MTR station to buy me an Octopus (Oyster) card, then to a local supermarket. He then arranged to meet me for lunch the next day where he also gave me a tour of the orchestra hall and office.

    It was only a little while later that I realised that none of it was actually in his “job description” but that he would always go the extra mile to ensure that new players and guests would feel welcome and “at home”. My story is just one of literally hundreds about Ambrose, someone who would show friendship to the musicians whilst carrying out his professional responsibilities.

    It’s hard to imagine the orchestra without him, or how things will operate, but for a little while it’s not important.

  • Too many opportunities to be grateful for what we have…brought back memories of Oliver Green…a life cut short. He was a gem. Very sorry to hear this news and lots of love to all who are there. CKXX

  • He is my u classmate, and very nice guy with strong will, of whom Hong Kong is now lacking!

    Make a bless for his family , then do something…

    Steven Fu

  • Thank you for your sympathies. The Hong Kong Philharmonic is in profound shock at this terrible news. Ambrose Yeung was only 39 years old, and had been with the orchestra for 15 years. As our Orchestra Personnel Manager, he had close personal ties with every musician and with all his colleagues in the administration. He was beloved, and his loss is indescribably sad.

    Ambrose had been playing badminton in the afternoon with a friend, also from the orchestra. Some time afterwards, he felt unwell and went directly to a hospital. His condition worsened rapidly, and medical intervention was unable to save him.

    Ambrose is survived by his wife Ada, and his mother and sister.

    Michael MacLeod – Chief Executive

    Raff Wilson – Director of Artistic Planning

    Serena Evans – Director of Orchestral Operations

  • Knew Ambrose out of work, he was like a close family member, the loss is inconceivable. Undoubtedly one of the nicest people I have ever met. Thoughts go out to Ada and the family

    Rest in peace bro x

  • 可惜不能認識你更多,想你在天家定有更重要的任務,看到你的朋友同事對你的稱頌,可見你已以身感染了很多很多人,你的家人必以你為榮!


    All will do what you did!

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