Cellist Đinh Hoài Xuân. — Photo cellofundamento.org
Cellist Đinh Hoài Xuân is founder of Cello Fundamento, which is an annual series of events bringing classical music closer to Vietnamese audiences.
She is the first Vietnamese artist to be appointed by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Romanian Music Ambassador to Việt Nam.
Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper reporter Mai An spoke to Xuân about her passion for music and her new title.
You have been appointed as Romanian Music Ambassador to Việt Nam by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. How do you feel about your new role?
I cannot express how proud I am to receive this title. The Romanian Embassy presented the title to me which is recognised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After years in the beautiful country of Romania, that romantic land has become my second home. I want to contribute more to the music of the two countries and promote the strong bonds and close and friendly relationship between the two countries that I love.
Why do you perform Vietnamese folk music pieces in your concerts?
Folk music is an effective bridge to bring Vietnamese music to international friends.
Not only audiences, but also international artists are also very surprised and excited to enjoy Vietnamese folk music with Western instruments in the form of chamber arrangements.
These performances always give listeners and artists themselves many special emotions.
The arrangements of Vietnamese folk music Trống Cơm (The Cylindrical Drum) by composer Đỗ Hồng Quân for three cellos and the orchestra and composer Đặng Hữu Phúc for four cellos are among the popular works.
You became the first Vietnamese doctor of music in cello-piano. Did you face any difficulties?
I think that all classical musicians face difficulties. Like many other musicians, I have to try my best to play music and create the most beautiful feelings for listeners.
I understand it is a common challenge for all classical artists in Việt Nam not just me. To overcome this, it takes time and hard work.
How did you start playing the cello?
It was love. The love for the instrument I chose, the love for classical music and the love for my family and life.
I grew up in central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế. At that time, the Huế Conservatory did not have a cello, so I studied piano, organ, guitar and even dance.
One day, I realised that I had not really blended with those instruments. Until the cello appeared, and I saw the cello for the first time from its shape to its warm sound. I immediately fell in love with it. I was 18 years old then.
You once said you have ideas to bring the cello to schools, and organise a cello contest for Vietnamese people. Are you still considering these plans?
These are the plans in the Cello Fundamento concert series by me and my team every year.
They are big plans, and it takes a lot of time to prepare to achieve good results. So, I will not do it all at once but over years.
Presently, Cello Fundamento 5 project entitled One Million Hands Touch Cello has come to schools in the central and northern region.
Your music will be on digital music platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music by French record label Believe. What is your experience in introducing Vietnamese music to the world?
In many Facebook posts, I have prioritised sharing the digital transformation of music, partly to show my work and to spread to many other artists.
In fact, international artists have participated and achieved much in the digital environment. Changing and taking advantage of technology in music not only raises the awareness of copyright but also gives artists an income.
Releasing music on online platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, is an opportunity for not only one person. It is for the equality of all artists.
According to Believe’s representative in Việt Nam, I am one of the first Vietnamese artists to participate in digital transformation. I share and connect digital transformation with my colleagues such as cellist Hà Miên, conductor Đồng Quang Vinh and singer Tân Nhàn.
What are your plans for the future?
The pandemic has changed many of my plans including One Million Hands Touch Cello. Many concerts were delayed such as a solo performance with Oradea orchestra in Romania and Hungary.
However, I have more time to practise. It will help to improve my skills. — VNS