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People’s Artist and revolutionary hero Pham Quy Duong dies
Thursday,  Jun 30, 2011,20:40 (GMT+7)

People’s Artist Pham Quy Duong died aged 75
Pham Quy Duong, the nation’s first opera singer and first vocal coach at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, died on Tuesday aged 75 after ten years of fighting a kidney disease.

Born in 1936 in Hai Duong Province, Duong devoted his life to Vietnamese revolutionary music, a genre that helped inspire soldiers to fight against invaders.

He did not have a professional musical education background but with an inborn talent of singing, he was chosen by Russian music experts to perform the classic opera ‘Epghenhi Onhegin’ by Tchaikovsky at Hanoi Opera House when they staged the opera for the first time in 1960. Thus he became the nation’s first opera singer.

During wartime, everlasting revolutionary songs such as Tinh Ca (Love Song) by Hoang Viet, Tinh Em (My Love) by Huy Du and Nguyen Nhung’s Bai Ca Ben Canh Vong (The Song by the Hammock) through Duong’s velvet vocals motivated soldiers on the battlefield. He sang on the radio but also gave his support by singing on the battlefield.

After the revolution wars Duong was selected to study vocal music in Bulgaria from 1979 to 1983 and then became the first vocal instructor at the Hanoi Conservatory of Music. Well-known artists including Bich Viet, Trung Duc and Hoang Quy were among his students.

The combination between international classical vocal music technique with the traditional Vietnamese folk style made him famous and his influence is still felt on Thursday.

He also was very successful when singing pre-war songs by composer Van Cao and other world famous love songs.

Together with Tran Hieu and Trung Kien, Duong formed 3C (three old men) to sing revolution music and western love songs until he contracted the kidney disease.

He received the title ‘People’s Artist’ in 1993. Memorial services will be held at the funeral house of the Ministry of Defense in Hanoi.

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