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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Vietnam-U.S. Friendship Concert at Saigon Opera House

By Bradley Winterton

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HCMC – The annual concert celebrating the friendship between Vietnam and the U.S. will be held in the Saigon Opera House on Saturday, October 28.

The relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. will be noted in several ways. First are several compositions of Vietnamese and American musicians, then there is the participation of celebrated violinist Chuong Vu who is the concertmaster of the San Angelo orchestra in the U.S., also featured is Phan Quang Phan, a Vietnamese now resident in the U.S. and an honoured composer of contemporary classical music.

Chuong Vu, the concertmaster of the San Angelo orchestra in the U.S.

The concert will conclude with Gershwin’s An American in Paris, premiered in 1928. It is a jazz-influenced symphonic poem for traditional orchestra plus celesta, alto and tenor saxophones, and automobile horns.

Earlier we hear a work by America’s first prominent female composer, Amy Beach (1867 – 1944). This is her Romance for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, an arrangement of her original composition for violin and piano. Beach composed this early in her career when she was 26. Chuong Vu will be the soloist.

Chuong Vu will also play the solo part in Dvorak’s Romance in F Minor for violin and orchestra.

In addition, soprano Nguyen Thi Thanh Nga will sing four Vietnamese songs, no doubt in very contemporary style by Phan Quang Phan.

Another Vietnamese composer to feature is Trong Dai whose Symphonic Suite consists of six movements. This will be the second item, following an opening compilation, American Night Music, presented in collaboration with the HCMC Union of Friendship and the Vietnam – U.S. Friendship Association in HCMC.

The concert, which begins at 8 p.m., will be conducted by the HBSO’s former music director Meritorious Artist Tran Vuong Thach.

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