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Last royal musician dies

Update: September, 16/2016 - 17:00
Artiste: Lữ Hữu Thi (right). Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – The last living musician of the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945), Lữ Hữu Thi, died of old age in his home in Huế on Thursday. He was 106.

He served in the royal music band from 1925 to 1945.

Thi was born in 1910. He learned to play various traditional musical instruments from his father when he was eight years old.

He first played at a royal event at An Định Palace. After that he played with Hòa Thanh, the royal band, until the day King Bảo Đại abdicated the throne.

After August 1945, the Hòa Thanh band dispersed. Thi continued to perform royal music at folk festivals and in daily life.

After the art of royal music was recognised by UNESCO in 2003 as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Thi was invited to work as an advisor and teacher for the court band managed by the Huế Monuments Conservation Centre. He did so until his death.

Five generations of Thi’s family worked as royal musicians. Many of his children work at the Huế Traditional Art Theatre.

His funeral will take place at his home, 200 Đặng Tất, Huế. -- VNS


Nguyễn Dynasty legacy: Artiste Lữ Hữu Thi (right) tries a set of bronze bells made by South Korean artisan Kim Hyunkon in 2010. Kim Hyunkon worked with Vietnamese researchers to make the royal instruments from local materials. Photo

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