Saturday,  Nov 17, 2018,20:58 (GMT+7) 0 0
Three concerts featuring many musical celebrities due in Saigon
By Bradley Winterton
Sunday,  Aug 5, 2018,16:22 (GMT+7)

Three concerts featuring many musical celebrities due in Saigon

By Bradley Winterton

violinist Bui Cong Duy will perform in the Saigon Opera House on August 18 and 19 - PHOTO: COURTESY OF HBSO

HCMC - The HCMC Ballet and Symphony Orchestra (HBSO) is staging a three-concert extravaganza over two days later this month under the heading of the Vietnam Connection Music Festival.

The concerts are on Saturday in the Saigon Opera House. The concert on August 18 begins at 8 p.m., and the two concerts on August 19 begin at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The concert on August 18 is subtitled “Stephanie Chase and Friends”. Stephanie is a major American violinist and considered one of the finest violinists in the world. She has performed with over 170 orchestras worldwide, and her appearance this month in Vietnam is an exceptionally important musical event.

First she will perform in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. These are four violin concertos, each dedicated to a season of the year. With four movements each, this makes a work of 16 items for violin and orchestra.

After the interval she will play again, firstly in Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor. The second soloist will be Vietnam’s renowned violinist Bui Cong Duy.

Lastly will come Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in B Minor. The soloists this time will be Stephanie Chase, Zhan Shu, Hoang Linh Chi and Chuong Vu.

In all these works Stephanie Chase will act as conductor as well as soloist. Tickets are from VND650,000 to VND80,000 (students only).

The concert beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday August 19 will consist of chamber music played by the Arod Quartet (Quatuor Arod).

The Arod Quartet is a young all-male string quartet from France, founded in 2013. It has received enormous acclaim, winning first prize in several competitions, and its appearance in Vietnam is an event of equal importance to that of Stephanie Chase.

The program begins with Haydn’s very early Quartet Number 3, “The Rider” (he was to write 68 string quartets in all).

They will then perform Al ‘Asr by Benjamin Attahir, a composer with whom they have been closely associated. This will be the premier of this composition for Vietnam and another important musical event.

Lastly they will play Schumann’s String Quartet No: 1.

Tickets for this afternoon concert, which features an internationally renowned quartet of players, are notably inexpensive – from VND300,000 to VND80,000 (for students).

Finally, on the Sunday evening, there will be a Gala Concert dedicated to concertos for multiple instruments. This will be another star-studded event, with the reappearance of Stephanie Chase and Bui Cong Duy, and the addition of yet another celebrity, Canadian violinist Christina Bouey, who will act as the evening’s concertmaster.

There is a very full program, including Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins and Two Cellos, Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto, Giovanni Bottesini’s Grand Duo Concerto for Violin and Double-bass, Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra, and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon.

The evening’s conductor will be Honna Tetsuji, and tickets are from VND650,000 to VND80,000 (students).

This promises to be a quite exceptional weekend of high-class music. Among other foreign guests are Katie Wikesberg (violin), Michael Sinicropi (trumpet), Bronwyn Banerdt (cello), Jeff Bradetich and Gudrun Raschen (double-bass), Colin Brookes and Andrew Wickesberg (viola), William Scharnberg (horn), John Scott (clarinet) and Elliot Figg (harpsichord).

Rarely has Saigon seen such celebrities on stage together, or such a sequence of top-notch compositions, all within 30 hours of each other. This, in other words, has all the hallmarks of being a sensational weekend for classical music in Vietnam.

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