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Symphonic poem, new violinist take on Opera House

Update: April, 16/2015 - 09:40
Violinist Nguyen Thien Minh (right). — Photo youtube.com
HA NOI (VNS)  — The symphonic poem Kieu and violinist Nguyen Thien Minh will both make their debuts at the Ha Noi Opera House on Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Overseas Vietnamese Dang Hong Anh composed Kieu. She based her work on the epic poem The Tale of Kieu, penned by Nguyen Du and considered one of the greatest pieces of Vietnamese literature.

Kieu creates a world based on the emotions and thoughts Anh had while reading the original. The composer narrates the plot through music and builds a symphonic poem with melodic themes and motifs.

"I loved the tale when I was small," Anh said. "It was my thesis in music composition in 1993. But I've changed the piece a lot since then and made it better."

Anh received her master's degree from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow in 1998. Her works range from solo instrumental, chamber and orchestral to solo vocal and choral music.

The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation copyrighted her Suite in Four Movements for String Quartet in 1992. She lives in Poland, but goes back to Viet Nam frequently for her work. In 2014 she participated in the Asia-Europe New Music Festival in Ha Noi and presented her Piano Variations based on a motif from the Mong folk song Nho Em Yeu (I Miss You Darling).

She also returned to Viet Nam in 2012 to organise a performance of her compositions at the Ha Noi Opera House.

In addition, violinist Minh will perform for the first time with the VNSO on April 17 and 18. He will play Violin Concerto by Felix Mendelssohn.

Born in 1993, Minh went to Norway to study performing arts at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo. He has performed in Spain, Denmark, Brazil and Norway. His performances have won him first prize in the 2007 Autumn Concour in Viet Nam and at the 2009 International Concerto Competition in Indonesia.

The concert will also feature Classical Symphony by Sergej Prokofiev and Songs for Voice and Orchestra by Edvard Grieg.

The piece by Grieg will be performed by soprano singer Dao To Loan and baritone Halvor F. Melien.

Loan sings several kinds of music, ranging from Vietnamese folk to modern and Western classical. She has performed with the VNSO and Norwegian Navy Orchestra.

Melien has performed with the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera in 2014. The concert will be under the baton of Norwegian conductor Thomas Rimul, who has introduced more than 80 pieces of music and was elected Musician of the Year by the Norwegian Composers' Association in 2011.

The concert will be held as part of the project Transposition, which allows leading music institutions in Norway and Viet Nam to collaborate. The project receives grants from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. — VNS

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