Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — As many as 25 guitar players from Thailand and Việt Nam are participating in the first ever Alma Hanoi International Festival and Competition, held in Hà Nội from October 27 to 29.
Vũ Hiển, head of the organizing board, said the event is the first such contest the country has held. The jury includes Vietnamese artists Châu Đăng Khoa and Lê Thu, together with Enrique Munoz Teruel from Spain; Heehong Kim from South Korea, who owns the Alma guitar brand, and Ekaterina Pushkarenko from Russia.
The contestants will compete in two categories: youth, for ages 6 to 17, and open, for players of any age.
The winner of the first category will walk away with an Alama guitar of US$2,500 while the winner of the second category will get an Alma guitar of $5,500.
Besides competition shows, various meetings and performances will be held on October 28 and 29.
On the 28th, international artists like Natavut Natakarn and Ekaterina Pushkarenko will perform. Vietnamese artists like Vũ Hiển, Phan Thị Bích Hằng, Lê Thu, Giác Tuệ and Trần Xuân Hòa and the four competition finalists will take the stage on the 29th.
The event will be hosted at the Youth Theatre, 11 Ngô Thì Nhậm Street.
"I hope the event will be a real festival for guitar lovers to get closer to one another and exchange," said Hiển. "I hope the interest in playing the guitar will develop more and more from now on."
Guitarist Lê Thu, who has been living in foreign countries for the past ten years, said she seen felt fewer and fewer people interested in classical guitar.
"I remember in 1980s, young people were eager to flock to guitar shows," she said. "Many people learned to play the guitar. But in the past few years, the enthusiasm for guitar seems to be declining, may be due to too many other entertainments. I hope this event will stir up old guitar lovers and inspire new fans." — VNS