|Key to success: Japanese pianist Airi Katada (left) performs with Vietnamese talent Nguyen Le Binh Anh in Tokyo earlier this month. — Photo vietnamplus.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The first ever Japan-Viet Nam piano festival will take place in the capital from Wednesday through Friday.
Young pianists Nguyen Le Binh Anh and Airi Katada will perform at Chu Van An High School (2pm Wednesday), Viet Nam National Academy of Music (3pm Thursday) and the Ha Noi Children's Palace (6pm Friday).
Nguyen Le Binh Anh, 16, is among the youngest Vietnamese classical piano talents. He started to learn piano at the age of five and has studied at Ha Noi's National Academy of Music and Moscow's Gnessin State Music College. He has also participated in various international performances throughout Asia.
Anh received first prize at the Steinway Piano contest in Viet Nam in 2011, second prize at the Steinway Regional Final 2012 in Singapore and third prize at the First International Piano Contest in Ha Noi in 2010. In 2011 alone, Anh won the Best Contestant title for the "Championship Intermediate" category (for ages 13-15) at the St George Eidsteddfod in Sydney, Australia, as well as first prize in the "Piano 19th Century" category and second prize in the "Piano Polyphony" category.
Airi Katada, 21, is a student of many famed Japanese pianists including Hiroko Izumi, Koo Ryeong Park, Katsunori Ishii, Reiko Kikuchi and Minoru Nojima. She is now studying at Tokyo Music College.
She has won several prestigious prizes and was one of the top five in the Sendai International Music Competition in 2013. She has played with many world-class orchestras in Japan, Poland and Russia.
Japanese pianist Ayuko Higuchi, who will act as a consultant for the festival, is a successful pianist in Japan who has won several prestigious prizes and certificates of merit from the Japanese Education Minister. She has delivered outstanding performances in many nations including the US and France and played at the 2008 Vietnam Festival accompanied by Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito.
She has performed 40 shows in Viet Nam since 2004 to raise funds for underprivileged children. Later this year, Ayuko will organise other piano shows in Tokyo, Yokohama, Tohoku and Ha Noi. — VNS