It is with a much saddened heart to report that a phone call from Roger Butt (Yondani's elder brother in Hong Kong) informed me that our beloved Maestro Yondani Butt was certified this morning by the hospital at 10:45 am this morning after going into a coma and had to rely on a breathing machine since 5 am this morning - 28th August 2014! 

According to info received, Butt's daughter Yolanda had a few words with her father while Butt was still conscious (hopefully that made him feel better) and she is now flying back to look after Butt's affairs arriving Hong Kong tomorrow Friday 29th August. I've asked Roger to tell her that should she need any assistance, do please give me a call!

What more can I say except 天妒英才, I think we should all 節哀順變吧 !

I am sure we will all miss him so very much! May he rest in God's arms in peace for eternity! 

28/08/2014 12:01 AM

Kung Fu Demo at the 50th Anniversary Reunion in Hong Kong (Nov 2012)


Life and death is a process. Once we are born, we are inevitably venturing towards death. We shall rejoice that Butt has been summoned and now back with God or moved on into another transition of existence, depending on our beliefs.

We shall rejoice that he has touched the lives of those who know him and made a difference. 

jesse chung
28/08/2014 9:04 AM


And farewell, Yondani, man of many talents and an always irresistably interesting person. 

28/08/2014 6:23 AM


Deeply saddened to hear that our maestro, Yondani Butt had passed away this morning. 

May be this is his destiny that our Almighty God had wanted him to follow to another world of eternal happiness.

Let us put away our sorrow and pray for him !

May he rest in peace in the arms of our God ! 

Patrick Cheng
28/08/2014 6:08 AM


Perhaps this is the moment to play the first minute and a half of Yondani Butt's conducting the Patherique Symphony (Tchaikovski Symphony No. 6 - 1st movement). May he rest in peace.

Tchaikovski Symphony No. 6 - 1st movement - "Pathétique" (excerpts)
From 0:06 seconds to  1:16 seconds

Tchaikovski Symphony No. 6 - 1st movement - "Pathétique" (excerpts)

I remember during lunch time at  Wah Yan High School ( Kowloon),  Wing Kee Kwok and I would go to the Wah Yan’s Concert Hall during lunch time to listen to students playing the piano. And Yondani at his young age can play Tchaikowsky - Piano Concerto no. 1. What a treat for us.
I believe his father wanted him to get a science degree instead of his interest in a music degree. So he got a Ph D in Chemistry and published many papers. But he kept his interest by double majoring in music too.
His musical talent cannot be suppressed,  see his conducting of many world renowned orchestras and many recordings in Wikipedia
Yondani produced so many recordings. Here is a list.

Bob Shen
28/08/2014 2:10 AM


I do not have the pleasure of knowing Butt personally. Unfortunate for me.
From the many emails about him from you folks, I know Butt was a wonderful man and superb artist. We have, and the world has, lost a precious friend and a wonderful human being.

My small contribution to this conversation is a lovely piece from Faure's Requiem, the aria/chorus "Libera me": This file is on my google-drive:

Patrick Tai戴振樑
28/08/2014 9:06 AM

It is really a shock to learn the tragic news of sudden loss of a very close friend of ours. May he rest in peace.
I have traveled quite extensively with Butt and have been taking photos of him as he never carried a camera. I have already sent him these photos before and was lucky that I have not yet erased them.
Attached please find some photos of his during some of our trips, mostly to China, in fond memory of him. These photos have been resized for easier transmission.
I can find some more if needed, just tell me.

Man Chung Keung Andrew
28/08/2014 1:59 AM

Butt is outstanding among WYKers for being a professional musician: conductor,practitioner, composer and teacher. Though WahYanites as a whole are versatile and make contributions in many areas of societal life, I think there are few who have achieved so much in the musical world as Yondani Butt.  May he rest in heavenly music and peace! 

28/08/2014 1:23 AM


Butt once came to my home talking about his encounter of politics even in his circle of Baton or music biz, that is the time I found out that even music artists cannot shy away from the harsh reality of ugly human nature. 

We all miss Butt especially me as I once caused his wrist to be out of joint. 

Though we all feel sad about his going, he might be very happy by now to be finally freed from this chaotic and deceitful world. 

At any rate, we will one day for sure be meeting him up there hopefully. And that day shouldn't be too far away. 

So my dear friends, grab and treasure every moments of brief joy and happiness, whatever that might be. 

Daniel Yiu
28/08/2014 1:42 PM


We should all treasure each encounter. Our class are so special, over all these years, we are still close and out there to give support to each other.

Very sad Yondani had departed us but his memorial will remain long be in our hearts and minds. May he rest in external peace and joy.

We shall miss him. 

Aug, 2014, at 11:45 pm


Life and death is a process. Once we are born, we are inevitably venturing towards death. We shall rejoice that Butt has been summoned and now back with God or moved on into another transition of existence, depending on our beliefs.  

We shall rejoice that he has touched the lives of those who know him And made a difference. 

jesse chung
28 Aug 2014 09:03:59 PM HKT


Yondani, my friend and classmate, may you rest in peace! You will always be in our hearts and remembered!

28/08/2014 11:32 am


I am a WYK 61 grade and one of the members of the Classical Music Lovers Association. 
Through the association, I got to know Yondani and admire his musical talents.

I've been asked by Richard Li (61) to compile the condolences and memories of Butt to form an In Memoriam file like the 30 ones Wong Hin Shing did and I assisted, all uploaded on the web site of WYKAAO. 

I'm doing that right now (Part I Photos, Part II A Musical Life and Part III Condolences and Memories).

I would like to include in Part II a BRIEF friendly guide to Butt's body of works: its range and emphasis (Austro-German), his characteristics and special achievements. I wonder if, as a close friend and admirer of Butt, you would be willing to write it. It can be both praising and critical at the same time. It is intended for readers who might like to approach his recordings and would like the words of a guide to start the venture with. 


I've approached Andrew Man and he recommended Dr. C.C. Lin. This could be a way of paying tribute to the maestro. I enclose the musical biography he asked us (members of CLA) to shorten for him some time ago and which is now sent to all 61 grads.

Yu Fong ying

Aug 28, 2014 at 3:54 PM


Aug 27, 2014 at 8:48 PM, C. C. Lin wrote:

My sincere condolence to the passing of Maestro Butt whom I met several times since I know him about 30 years ago during his visit to San Diego.  Maestro Butt taught me a lot about classical music as I never had any formal education on music as a whole although I started being a serious classical music fan since 1960 when I was still at Primary School in Hong Kong.  I bought a lot of Maestro Butt's orchestral music CDs and I enjoy every one of his CDs very much. Maestro Butt is one of my favorite orchestral conductors of all time.  I am very proud to have known Maestro Butt for 30 years.   

I had several email discussions with Maestro Butt recently on his orchestral recordings.  I was planning to visit him in Zhuhai during my next trip to mainland China later this year with his Wah Yan classmate CHEN York Lung.  I am going to miss Maestro Butt very much.  I will continue to appreciate Maestro Butt's recorded orchestral CDs for years to come. 

Chi-Chung LIN
San Diego, California, USA



This is my Tribute to Butt. 


Although I am not a classical music lover and did not have the opportunity to make friends with our classmate Yondani until I started to attend WYK62 get togethers in Hong Kong around 2008, I managed somehow to strike up a good friendship with him even though at the beginning, I really do not understand what he was trying to say - he still had such a defective vocal cord then. Many incidences came rushing back now that he has left us...too numerous to mention. Suffice to say that I am one of the chosen few that he used to "let out steam" on the phone towards the end and one of the only two that he asked to notify when he was admitted into Zhuhai hospital. The occasion I spent most time with him alone was when I took him in hand the whole afternoon when he specially came down from Zhuhai for an on-site dress rehearsal for his Kung Fu performance at our 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner and I am proud to say that I also managed to fulfill his on-the-spot request to meet Ho Pak Lee after rehearsal. It was a Saturday afternoon and luckily Maestro Ho was free. The four of us (Mrs Brenda Ho too) had a good chat for 2 hours at Pacific Place with Ho Pak Lee thoughtfully presenting Butt and I both with limited edition hardback collection of his paintings as souvenirs of the meeting ! The meeting of the two ex-WYK Maestro's was indeed a very memorable occasion which I was proud to be part of ! 


Butt, I am but one among thousands that will miss you so much ! I, for one, shall have no one again to give wrong directions to from now on ! We will ALL miss you terribly whenever we get together and I sincerely hope I can meet you again in due course wherever you are ! Do rest in peace in God's arms forever my dear dear friend, trouble-free now ! 


Farewell ! 



30/08/2014 9:44 PM


 "Left index finger our memory"  

That fateful day 1957
Our picnic to Clear Water Bay
Full of life , full of laughter, O'neil,  Butt and us
You called for help - "my canned sardine is stuck" 
Down your side we came, open it we did
But alas so did the index finger, a gash so long and deep
The scar remains to this day as I remember that fateful day. 

R.I.P. my friend .......

Patrick Hsu
Aug 28, 2014 at 9:21 AM


I am one of Yondani’s best friends in HS and in IU.

I just received this horrendous sad news late coming back from a Caribbean cruise.  

When Butt was 14-16 years old, he came to my apt at Victory Road daily, played his favorite pieces before we walked to school together. My wife and I were invited to board with him at his Victoria music festival as he was the principal conductors for several years. I still got some video. 

He came to Sai-Kung in Hong Kong and stayed with me earlier this year. We had a wonderful dinner party, karaoke etc. He told us his latest romances and we were very much amused. Early next day, we left Hong Kong and he went back to Zhuhai. 

There is way too much to write as we had lots of fun together for the last 50+ years.  I even bought a condo in Zhuhai in front of his penthouse. 

A few of us, WYK & IU buddies accepted Butt’s invitation to take a tour to Mu-Dong mountain, the holy land of Tai Chi founder/master this late October. I will bring and bury his pictures there. 

May he rest in peace.

York Chen
Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 1:11 AM


The Yondani Butt's Memorial Service was successfully carried out today with a more than satisfactory turn-out and show of support and solidarity from WYK62ers in Hong Kong - THANK YOU - you all did me proud today !


Those present included : Desmond Lee 李汝大, Kenneth Lau 劉健生, Stephen Chu 朱飛鵬, Cedric Lam 林鴻鈞, Dominic Lee 李達安, Stephen Lee 李自明, Tony Lau 劉簡桓, Francis Ip 葉成棠, Ho Pak Lee 何百里, Lin Tak Kwan 林德鈞, Poon Lai Yeung 潘禮讓, Vincent Chu朱一貫 & Elena, Henry Leung 梁萬載& Sabrina, Victor Young 楊應週 & Eva, Mrs Vicky Tsui (Wife of Raymond Tsui 徐子敬) + myself of course (total 19). WYK61s were represented by Richard Li 李景行 and Joseph Chan 陳志剛who were both in IU with Butt. On Butt's family side, there were around 15 persons in toto but the main ones were Butt's two daughters, Yolanda and Benina plus Butt's No.3 elder brother Roger + wife Ruby (Butt being No. 9 - the youngest of 9 children).  

Speakers included : The two Butt sisters, Roger Butt,  Richard Li 李景行 Kenneth Lau 劉健生Victor Young 楊應週Lin Tak Kwan 林德鈞plus yours truly who doubled as MC. There were much weeping and sobbing and many wet eyes. We had a projector and I compiled and took along a USB key with all our photos of Butt as well as the video of his Kung Fu performance at our 2012 Reunion which were displayed on screen all throughout the Service and was later presented to Yolanda Butt as a memento both of the occasion and which also represent our collective memory of her beloved father. Afterwards Roger Butt treated us to dinner and 7 WYK62s accepted + the two WYK61's.  

All in all, it was a most successful Memorial Service thanks to all your fantastic support and efforts !!! I think Butt would feel honoured indeed ! May he rest in eternal peace ! 


Thu 04/09/2014 12:01 PM 

P.S. On my part, I feel especially proud that Yolanda selected my picture with Butt (see attached) as the head and shoulders portrait for enlargement and framing and hung up for people to bow to at today's service - cutting me out of course, but even so, made me feel so proud ! 


I am writing this with my deepest regret and sorrow and despair that I failed to attend Butt's ceremonial gathering due to my own stupidity and sickness.


I always treasured the time we shared in Wah Yan, and with Yondani especially. We were both in 5B and sat near, if not next to, each other. I had a chance to be invited to his house in Kadorie Ave. It was Yondani who encouraged me to take music also in the HKSCE. His result was A without doubt, and I got a C, much beyond my expectation. We are all proud indeed to have been Butt's pal. He is a great Wah Yan 62er. 

Silas Yeung

Thu 04/09/2014 8:33 PM