Atlantic City murder victim played for Toronto Chinese Orchestra
Published 1 hour 13 minutes ago
Alice Mei See Leung is seen in front of the conductor at a Toronto Chinese Orchestra performance. She played yangqin, a hammered dulcimer, and joined the orchestra 10 years ago.
SING TAO PHOTO
When Anna Guo heard in the news that a 47-year-old Scarborough woman and her 80-year-old mother were killed outside an Atlantic City casino, she had a bad feeling.
Guo, a renowned performer of the Chinese yangqin (hammered dulcimer), immediately called her student, Alice Mei See Leung, at her office at Toronto’s Century Iron Mines Corp.
“Someone else answered the phone and I knew it was a bad sign,” Guo said Thursday. “The person said Alice had passed away. I felt sick to the stomach.”
In fact, Guo had hoped to catch up with Leung over the long weekend, but Leung, an accounting manager, said she and her mother were going out of town and would talk to her when she returned.
Guo had been Leung’s music teacher for 15 years.
Leung and her mother, Po Lin Wan, died in hospital from multiple stab wounds after they were attacked during a failed robbery of a purse outside Bally’s casino.
Guo was giving a concert in Markham in 1996 when she met Leung.
Leung admired traditional Chinese music, especially the yangqin, so much that she walked up to Guo and asked if she could be her student.
Leung also started taking erhu (Chinese fiddle) lessons from Guo’s husband, Seng Mao Hong, and became one of a handful yangqin players in the Toronto Chinese Orchestra.
“Alice lived a very simple life,” Guo recalled. “Her life was surrounded by her work, traditional Chinese music and travels.”
Guo said Leung loved travelling with her mother to the United States or across Canada.
Friends were relieved Thursday when they learned police had finally got in touch with Leung’s sister in Hong Kong. She also had a brother in Florida, where she and her mother travelled often by car.
Antoinette Pelzer, 44, of Philadelphia, has been charged with two counts of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and robbery.
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