Conductor Vinh leads Dream Orchestra on Japanese tour

August 25, 2023 - 09:32
This will mark the first time a Vietnamese conductor performs in Japan.
Vietnamese Đồng Quang Vinh will conduct the Dream Orchestra performing in Japan from October 2 to 10. — Photo coutersy of the organisation

HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam - Japan Dream Orchestra under the baton of conductor Đồng Quang Vinh will tour six cities in Japan from October 2 to 10.

This will mark the first time a Vietnamese conductor performs in Japan.

"Music has no barrier," said Vinh at the press conference in Hà Nội on August 22. "This is a good chance to connect people of the two countries. I am honoured and also feel pressure to perform in Japan because the Japanese are a precise audience."

Vinh graduated from the orchestral conducting programme at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China.

He was also awarded a full scholarship for most distinguished foreign student by the China National Foundation, and then obtained a Master’s in orchestral conducting.

He is also a soloist, performing with a variety of traditional music instruments and is frequently invited to conduct and perform on international stages.

He currently is conductor of Việt Nam National Opera & Ballet (VNOB) and guest artist of the Việt Nam National Symphony Orchestra (VNSO) and the Việt Nam National Academy of Music (VNAM).

The Dream Orchestra will perform in Tokyo, Gunma, Iwate, Fukushima, Miyagi and Todaiji Temple in Nara Prefecture.

With a theme of Friendship - Praying - Hope, the concerts will be a chance to strengthen friendships among Vietnamese and Japanese people, according to project director Matsuda Ayuko.

"Japanese received the support and help of Vietnamese people when the prefectures Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi in Tohoku area in northeast Japan were heavily affected by tsunami in 2011," said Ayuko. "We hope that the concerts will connect people and we also pray for a bright future for the two nations."

A votive concert will be performed at Todaiji Temple in Nara Prefecture where there was trade among Japanese and Vietnamese businessmen over a thousand years ago, Ayuko added.

The 60-member orchestra includes Vietnamese and Japanese musicians and talented piano soloist Nguyễn Việt Trung.

In Việt Nam, the orchestra members are selected from VNOB, VNSO and VNAM. The Japanese musicians are from six orchestras including Tokyo Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic, Sendai Symphony Orchestra, and Gunma Symphony Orchestra.

The concert repertoire will include two Vietnamese pieces, Frederic Chopin's Concerto No1 for piano and the orchestra, and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

The Vietnamese pieces are about Central Highlands including Mùa Hái Quả (Fruit Harvest Season) by Hữu Xuân and Cảm Xúc Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands Emotions) by Cát Vận and Bích Vượng.

Mùa Hái Quả will be performed by the t'rưng instrument and the orchestra. T'rưng is a traditional bamboo xylophone used by the Gia Rai and Ba Na ethnic groups in Central Highlands provinces.

Award-winning pianist Trung will play Concerto No1 with the orchestra at the concert. Trung was born in Hà Nội and he has lived in Poland since childhood.

He achieved remarkable awards at international piano competitions such as the National Piano Festival “Chopin Interpretations of the Young” in Konin-Żychlin, the Polish National Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, and the Karlovac International Piano Competition in Croatia.

Having competed in the 20th International Chopin Piano Competition in 2021 and made it to the second round, Trung has made his name as a young piano talent touring not only Poland and Việt Nam but around the world.

The Dream Orchestra is organized to celebrate of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Việt Nam.

"The establishment of the Dream Orchestra expresses the long-term friendship between Việt Nam and Japan," said Japanese ambassador to Việt Nam Yamada Takio. "Music helps to connect people and shows harmony in human hearts regardless of borders or seas."

The Dream Orchestra tour in Japan receives suppor from different Vietnamese and Japanese sponsors including FPT and Canon. The orchestra may perform in Việt Nam in the future. — VNS