Martin Leung is an award-winning, globally-recognized pianist and musical pioneer for the 21st century. Trained classically, he performs standard repertoire. Leung's alter ego, Video Game Pianist, performs the emergent music of video games, a successful specialization that has established VGP early as a soloist trailblazer in the industry.
At San Francisco's Sony Metreon on 8 March 2005, VGP made his first public appearance interpreting the tune-stories of Super Mario, Sonic, Zelda, Earthworm Jim, and Halo 2 as a performing art. Two days later he performed at Moscone Center for the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) Audio Awards. Continuing to discover new audiences for his bold "gold standard" (East Bay Express) musical explorations, VGP is in the vanguard of efforts to introduce video game music as a respectable component of universal music-making.
Return engagements in 2006 include Brady Games at Electronic Entertainment Exposition and G.A.N.G. Audio Awards at the Game Developers Conference, both in California, and Penny Arcade Exposition in Washington. VGP has worked with Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall, visionaries of the on-tour Video Games Live, premiering his piano arrangements at the 2005 Hollywood Bowl inaugural show before 11,000 people, at the San Jose Civic Auditorium, the Philadelphia Merriam Theatre, the Indianapolis Hilbert Circle Theatre, Toronto's Massey Hall, a second performance at the Hollywood Bowl, Claro Hall in Rio de Janeiro, Via Funchal in São Paulo, and the Hammersmith Apollo in London in 2006.
The first video-game-music solo recital VGP performed publicly was in 2005 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas--replete with 21 encores. His success was initially speed-launched by a popular internet video of then-seventeen-year-old VGP's blindfolded performance of the classic Super Mario Brothers theme, and a spirited Mario medley. This landmark clip debuted on top-trafficked eBaum's World on 2 July 2004. Around 40 million people worldwide saw the video.
In recent years Leung has been featured diversely, to name some: MTV Overdrive, MTV Obsessed, Cleveland Plain Dealer, East Bay Express, San Diego Union-Tribune, Austin Chronicle, the Observer, la Prensa Newspaper, CIM Notes, Nintendo Power (USA), Cube (England), PS Extreme (Poland), Just-Cubed (Germany), Gameworld (Brazil), Night Life Montreal (Canada), Advanced Media Network, Excite (Japan), Coverville, Game Music Radio, All Games Radio, MMORadio, WNYC 93.9 FM Soundcheck, Z103 FM Idaho, HOT104.7 FM California, MSN video, and myriad websites.
Notably in 2006, VGP was invited to play cutting-edge programs of classical and video game music at Shiloh Middle School's Career Education Day, at CIM Uncorked, and in solo recital at the historic Union Club of Cleveland. Other highlights in 2005-06 recall the performances of classical music at Pianofest in the Hamptons; the American Liszt Society Festival; concerts in Ohio, such as those for the Darius Milhaud Society, Youngstown Music Teachers' Association, and Pianofest; and Pacific Symphony-Chinese American League and Arts Orange County celebrations, along with solo recitals in California. Future destinations in 2006 comprise the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Harucon II, Gallery 1988, Electronic Entertainment Exposition, Penny Arcade Exposition, and Severance Hall with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.
Leung studies with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro at the Cleveland Institute of Music. A 2002 Oberlin International Piano Competition prizewinner, he later soloed at 16 at Carnegie Hall's New York Youth Orchestra Festival and with the Pittsburgh Symphony on From the Top. He is the First Prize winner at the 2004 Los Angeles Philharmonic Kaper Awards and 2004 Southern California High School Chess Championship, among other competitions. Leung is a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts' ARTS 2004 laureate in Classical Piano. His accomplishments in classical music, video game music, and chess have been mentioned in the Los Angeles Times since 1997.
Video Games Live is an immersive concert event featuring music from the biggest video games of all time. The Vector Wellington Orchestra and the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus will perform along with exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussion, live action and unique interactive segments to create an explosive one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.
Doors open at 6:00pm for pre-show festival which includes game competitions, prizes, costume contest, industry meet & greet and more! Prize give-aways include a $4,000 laptop! The show starts at 7:30pm.
Performing at the TSB Bank Arena - formerly the Event Centre Wellington.
View a video clip for Video Games Live.