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Master musician debuts latest symphony

Update: September, 27/2013 - 09:41

Long-awaited: Musician Nguyen Van Nam will debut his latest work, Cuu Long Day Song, at the September Concert tonight. — Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — Nguyen Van Nam's ninth symphony, Cuu Long Day Song (The Mekong River Rising in Waves), will be performed for the first time tonight at the September Concert at the HCM City Conservatory of Music.

Completed in five years, the symphony consists of four chapters: River of Childhood, Picture of Nature, Full Moon Night on the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta and Cuu Long - Rising Waves. It will be performed by the Sai Gon Philharmonic Orchestra and the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera.

"I chose to write about the land and the Mekong River because it's my birthplace. Through many generations, silt from the region has raised the level of fields in the southwestern region. The River has also witnessed many great periods in the nation's history," said the 77-year-old musician, born inTien Giang Province.

With 260 pages, the grandiose composition is Nam's most epic yet. He has spent his life composing traditional pieces, the best-known of which are Tang Dong Bao Mien Nam Anh Dung (To Heroic People in the South, 1972), Tang Nhung Em Be Mo Coi Sau Chien Tranh (To Children Orphaned By War, 1975), Me Viet Nam (Vietnamese Mothers, 1994), Sai Gon 300 Nam (Saigon 300 Years, 1998) and Dat Nuoc Que Huong Toi (My Homeland, 2003).

The symphonies have been performed in Russia, China, Poland, the UK and the US as well as domestically.

In 1976, he completed his PhD in music composition with the symphony Tang Nhung Em Be Mo Coi Sau Chien Tranh, which was presented at the Leningrad Musical Spring festival in Russia. In 1981, he earned another doctorate in musicology, writing a thesis on "the fundamental features of Vietnamese traditional music."

The September Concert will be conducted by Adrian Tan Chee Kang and features pianist Albert Lin, who will play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 3.

It starts at 8pm at the HCM City Conservatory of Music, 112 Nguyen Du, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1. — VNS

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