Conductor returns home for concert of French music

August, 08/2022 - 08:35

Conductor Lê Phi Phi, who is visiting from Macedonia, will lead a concert featuring masterpieces from French composers at the HCM City Opera House on August 14.

WELCOME HOME: Conductor Lê Phi Phi, who is visiting from Macedonia, will lead the 'Carnival of the Animals' concert featuring masterpieces from French composers at the HCM City Opera House on August 14. Photo courtesy of HBSO

HCM CITY —  Conductor Lê Phi Phi, who is visiting from Macedonia, will lead a concert featuring masterpieces from French composers at the HCM City Opera House on August 14.

Phi, who graduated from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1993, was the principal conductor of the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra until 2000.

He was the resident conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Nis, Serbia from 2007-2012. He has performed with numerous famous soloists and orchestras in Macedonia, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Albania, and Bulgaria.

He has often returned to Việt Nam to perform with the Việt Nam National Symphony Orchestra, the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra (HBSO), and the Hà Nội Philharmonic Orchestra, and conduct national concerts such as “Điều Còn Mãi” (Remaining with Time) and “Xuân Quê Hương” (Homeland Spring).

He is currently teaching at the State Music and Ballet School Centre Ilija Nikolovski-Luj in Macedonia.

The “Carnival of the Animals” concert will begin with L'Arlesienne Suite No 1 by French composer Georges Bizet. It was first performed in 1872.

Bizet wrote L'Arlesienne (The Girl from Arles) as incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play of the same name. The music was often performed in two suites by the orchestra.

The concert continues with Le Carnaval des animaux (The Carnival of the Animals), a humorous musical suite by French composer Camille Saint-Saens.

The suite was first released in 1922, the year after his death.

It has 14 movements and each movement represents a different animal, such as a swan, a tortoise, an elephant, a kangaroo, and a cuckoo.

Both compositions will be performed by pianists Nguyễn Thùy Yên and Phạm Nguyễn Anh Vũ.

YOUNG TALENTS - Pianists Nguyễn Thùy Yên (right) and Phạm Nguyễn Anh Vũ will perform French compositions at the concert on August 14. Photo courtesy of HBS

Yên, who is currently the deputy head of the piano department at the city’s Conservatory of Music, received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and a Master’s degree at the conservatory in 2000 and 2005.

She has performed as a soloist as well as a chamber music pianist with HBSO and the Saigon Philharmonic Orchestra. 

She has played at the Kimbrough Concert Hall at Washington State University in the US, and at the first and second International Piano Festival in 2011 and 2013 in HCM City.

Vũ began studying piano when he was six. He received a Bachelor's of Music in piano performance in 2002 at the conservatory where he earned a Master’s degree in conducting in 2012.

He has performed with local and foreign soloists Patrick Zygmanovsky, Igor Chystoklevtov and Lê Hồ Hải, and worked with conductors Trần Vương Thạch, Jan Stulen, Christian Schumann, and David Gomez Ramirez.

In 2009, Vũ was selected to join the “Cultural Visitor Programme for Young Artists" held by the US Department of State and the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington DC.

After the intermission, the HBSO will play Pavane in F-sharp minor, a short work written by French composer Gabriel Fauré in 1887; Danse Macabre written by Saint-Saens in 1874; and Bolero, the most famous composition by French composer Maurice Ravel which premiered in 1928.

The concert begins at 8pm at 7 Lam Sơn Square in District 1. Tickets are available at the venue’s box office. — VNS

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