|Conductor Lê Ha My is the Autumn Melodies Festival's Art Director. Photo thethaovanhoa.vn|
The Autumn Melodies Festival is one of the country’s biggest classical music and dance events. After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the festival was held in HCM City from September 10 to 17.
The Vietnam News Agency’s Thể Thao Văn Hóa (Culture & Sports) daily reporter Lam Anh spoke to the festival’s art director and conductor Lê Ha My about the return of the highly anticipated event.
The festival lures many music lovers to HCM City. What are the attractions?
I felt very lucky because the festival was warmly received by the audience from the first days of the event until the end.
It is great for the artists and for classical music lovers as well. The festival includes five shows and two seminars which I think contributes to the success of the festival.
Each event is our “spriritual child” and we love and take care it.
This year, the festival honours Vietnamese musical pieces. Plus, the artists perform arias and music pieces which are familiar to the audience.
How did the organisers prepare for a week-long festival?
We worked very hard for the festival. The musicians from HCM Ballet & Symphony Orchestra (HBSO) perform consecutively for seven days.
We practiced for many months.
This year, the festival was held with support from HCM City People Committee and the city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. It is also on a list of the city’s outstanding art and cultural events to be held in the 2020-30 period.
We planned to prepare the festival organisation under the city’s culture development strategy. However we still needed help from culture management sectors and the Ministry of Culture’s high-ranking officials.
We have to design good repertoires to invite talented artists in domestic and abroad to perform at the festival.
We want the festival to reach an international standard.
Was it difficult for you as both a conductor and director of HBSO?
To do two jobs of conductor and manager is not easy. A manager must not be artistic and he is not allowed to be free. As an artist, I know music only when I perform on the stage.
Conducting an orchestra is also a science. So I think that I find the connection between the two jobs.
Art really is hard work and classical music is so much harder. Support and love from my family helped me to stay on the right path.
I think that all artists will be more enthusiastic if they receive love from audience. This love is big encouragement for the artists.
Have you seen any changes in classical music enjoyment from the audience?
Yes, there have been positive changes. We see that there are more people who love classical music. I think the reasons are that people now have more chances to access to classical music.
Young audiences have learned about art from when they are small. So aesthetic values are highly appreciated.
Furthermore, classical concerts are better nowadays and the organisers promote the concert widely in the community.
Some young Vietnamese artists choose to stay and work abroad instead of returning to the homeland. What do you think about the brain drain to other countries?
The number of classical concerts in Hà Nội and HCM City has increased in current years.
Brain drain is a concern. But from my point of view, the key is to support the young talents from the relevant bodies giving them a good living condition. This will help them to focus on their career development.
What can your experience add to both classical music and Vietnamese music?
It is a big question. It is very important to say that I want to make contributions to Vietnamese music. We just love and live with our passion for music. We always listen to and receive feedback from audiences to make us better.
When I returned to Việt Nam I have worked with my colleagues to make classical concerts popular to audiences. As a manager, I hope HBSO will have more music events like the Autumn Melodies Festival.
Our artists will preserve achievement of the past 30 year of HBSO and continue to bring these values into play. — VNS