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Aug 23, 2023 / 22:19

Joint Vietnamese-Japanese symphony concert to spread hope

Vietnamese and Japanese artists will perform in a concert to commemorate the victims of natural disasters in Japan, bringing hope for a better future and strengthening people-to-people exchanges.

About 30 Vietnamese musicians will join their Japanese colleagues in the Vietnam-Japan Festival Symphony Orchestra - Dream Orchestra for a tour of Japan from October 2 to 10.

This large-scale tour is an activity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan (1973-2023), strengthen people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, and pay tribute to the tsunami victims in Japan.

 Conductor Dong Quang Vinh will lead the artists of the Dream Orchestra. Photo courtesy of the artist

According to project director Matsuda Ayuko, young piano talent Nguyen Viet Trung will perform in the concerts, while conductor Dong Quang Vinh will be directing the entire orchestra. This is also the first time a Vietnamese conductor has been selected to conduct an international concert tour in Japan.

The Vietnamese performers come from the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Theater (VNOB), the Vietnam National Academy of Music (VNAM), and the Suc Song Moi (New Vitality) Bamboo Ensemble, while 30 Japanese artists are selected from the six symphony orchestras of Japan.

The Dream Orchestra will perform in Tokyo, Iwate, Fukushima, Miyagi, Nara, and Gunma Prefecture, home to a large Vietnamese expatriate community.

Iwate, Fukushima, and Miyagi prefectures in the Tohoku region are most affected by the earthquake and tsunami 12 years ago. Survivors of the earthquake and tsunami and Vietnamese families living in the area will be invited to the concerts.

 Conductor Dong Quang Vinh talks about the concert tour at a press conference in Hanoi on August 22. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

"The concert tour is being held to commemorate those who have left us forever due to natural disasters, and at the same time to bring hope that the people here, who are rising from the loss and pain, will have a better future," said Matsuda Ayuko.

The final performance will take place in the Great Buddha Hall of the Todaiji Temple (Eastern Great Temple) in Nara Prefecture, which had thriving trade relations with Vietnam hundreds of years ago.

Orchestra conductor  Dong Quang Vinh expressed his honor and pride in participating in the project. He also felt that it was a great challenge for him personally and Vietnamese artists because Japanese classical artists are very talented, and the audience is knowledgeable and has a high level of musical enjoyment.

According to conductor Dong Quang Vinh, the program will feature performances by the New Vitality Bamboo Ensemble, followed by world classical works such as Beethoven's Symphony of Fate.

Conductor Dong Quang Vinh said that the artists have only three days to rehearse together, but this is not difficult because symphonic music is a genre that requires players to follow the rules strictly, so they must always be precise with each note from the time they practice individually. Therefore, when they are put together in an ensemble, they get along easily.

The Suc Song Moi (New Vitality) Bamboo Ensemble features traditional musical instruments from Vietnam.

New Vitality Orchestra combines Vietnamese musical instruments made of bamboo, while pianist Nguyen Viet Trung is an internationally recognized young talent. He studied at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and was an excellent student of People's Artist Dang Thai Son. He won the first prize in the 17th Chopin Interpretations of the Young Competition (2021) and reached the final of the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (Poland) in 2021. Nguyen Viet Trung is the second Vietnamese to reach the finals of this prestigious piano competition after People's Artist Dang Thai Son, who qualified for the finals and won the first prize.