World renowned pianist to open new classical concert series

May 24, 2024 - 08:00
The concert will open the 'Timeless Resonance' music series created and produced by Thanh Việt Production, a pioneer in the development of cultural and musical events.

HÀ NỘI — Well-known classical pianist Đặng Thái Sơn — the first Asian artist to win the International Chopin Piano Competition — will perform with his students during a concert in Hà Nội next month.

The concert is the opening event of the series Timeless Resonance, which is produced by Thanh Việt Production, a pioneer in the development of cultural and musical events.

Đặng Thái Sơn is the first Asian artist to win the International Chopin Piano Competition. — Photo courtesy of artist

Talking with media on a video call from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport, where his flight back to Việt Nam was postponed, founder and director of Thanh Việt Production Quốc Trung — a well-established producer and composer in his own right — said that Timeless Resonance aims to showcase top classical musicians from Việt Nam and all over the world.

“We faced many challenges when we decided to carry out the series. In Việt Nam, classical music is often seen as an academic genre which is not easy to understand, to feel and to enjoy for many people. That’s why classical music concerts also receive little attention to be produced,” Trung said.

“Some people said that we are reckless when we dare to produce a classical music concert series. However, that is what we want to do. We wish to create the quality concerts which bring emotion not only for music lovers, but also for ourselves,” added the composer, who also founded the Monsoon International Music Festival, the largest music festival in Việt Nam.

At a press meeting in Hà Nội, pianist Sơn said that he has never before been involved in organising a concert in Việt Nam — until now.

The opening concert for Timeless Resonance will feature Sơn and three of his students — Sophia Shuya Liu, Kai-Min Chang and Zitong Wang.

“They are all young and talented. And each of them has their own distinctive musical personality, which is a very important matter for a professional pianist,” Sơn said about his students.

“With the participation of these young international award-wining pianists, I would like to present ‘The Rise of Asia’ in music,” he said, adding that 90 per cent of his students are Asian.

Alongside solo performances from each pianist, the concert will also include quartet performances from the lecturer and his students.

The programme includes F. Schubert’s Military March No. 1 Op. 51 in D major D733; L. V. Beethoven’s Bagatelles Op. 33 No. 1, 2, and 3; F. Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1 S. 514; F. Chopin’s Variations on a theme of Cooper’s Air national in D major and G. Fauré’s Barcarolle No. 1 Op.26 in A minor.

Đặng Thái Sơn was propelled to the forefront of the musical world in October 1980, when he was awarded the First Prize and Gold Medal at the 10th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. It was also the first time that a top international competition was won by an Asian pianist.

Pianist Đặng Thái Sơn shares with local media about having the chance to perform with his talented students in his home country. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng

He began studying piano with his mother, Thái Thị Liên, the co-founder of what is known today as the Việt Nam National Academy of Music in Hà Nội. He later sharpened his skills at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

Since winning the Chopin Competition, his international career has taken him all over the world. He has played with numerous world-class orchestras such as London’s Philharmonia, Orchestre Nationale de Paris, Staatskapelle Berlin, St-Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Czech Philharmonic and Warsaw National Philharmonic.

Sơn is currently a professor at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, US. Many of his students have won prizes in major international competitions. He has sat on the juries of prestigious competitions such as the Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition, the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition (Switzerland), the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition (Israel), Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition (Italy), Sydney International Piano Competition (Australia) and the Concours musical international de Montréal (Canada).

The opening concert of Timeless Resonance series will take place at the Hà Nội Opera House on June 2, following a similar one at Hồ Chí Minh City Conservatory on June 3. — VNS