|Rest in peace: Composer Hoàng Vân. — Photo ngoisao.net|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Famed Vietnamese composer Hoàng Vân died Sunday, aged 88. His son, conductor Lê Phi Phi shared his deep sorrow in a Facebook status, saying he was working abroad when his father passed away and would return to Việt Nam for his father’s funeral.
Vân’s real name is Lê Văn Ngọ. He was best known as a veteran composer during the two Indochina wars. Born in July 24, 1930 in Hà Nội to a Confucian family, his grandfather and father were both Confucian scholars. He held many significant positions in the military before being sent to receive music training at Beijing Central Conservatory of Music when the wars ended.
After returning to Việt Nam, he was the conductor of The Voice of Việt Nam’s troupe, while lecturing at the composing faculty at Hà Nội Conservatory of Music (now Việt Nam National Academy of Music) until 1989. He was also member of Việt Nam Association of Musicians and worked there until 1996.
Vân was widely known for his war epic song Hò Kéo Pháo (Artillery Pulling Chant), which was popular in North Việt Nam in 1954. The song depicted a scene of artillerymen pulling a heavy cannon to the top of a mountain in the fierce Điện Biên Phủ battle.
Vân also composed songs for movies, plays, traditional opera and reformed theatre. Most of his songs were about the two Indochina wars and patriotism, such as Tôi là người thợ lò (I’m A Miner), Bài ca xây dựng (The Song of Nation Building), Quảng Bình quê ta ơi (My Homeland Quảng Bình) and Người chiến sĩ ấy (That Soldier).
He was given the Hồ Chí Minh Award on Literature and Arts in 2000. — VNS