Saigon Times Concert – Bringing benefits to the community
A concert entitled “Harmony of Trust” and organized by the Saigon Times Group will take place, for the first time, on the evening of January 10, 2010, at the HCMC Opera House to mark the 19th anniversary of Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon (January 4, 1991 – January 4, 2010)
The concert aims to raise funds for human resource development. The proceeds from the concert will go to the Saigon Times Foundation.
The focus of the program is pipa maestro Tu Shan Xiang’s first performance in Vietnam, the first destination on his world tour, marking 40 years of his illustrious career. The tour, scheduled for 2010, will bring him to 10 countries and territories in Europe, Asia and North America. Ten years ago, to celebrate the 30th year of his career, he embarked on a tour of five countries – Japan, Korea, China, the U.S. and Italy.
Tu Shan Xiang received a bachelor’s degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and a postgraduate degree from the Tokyo University of the Arts. He has had 1,900 performances around the world, including at Carnegie Hall (New York), and has released a number of DVDs and CDs, including Silk Road (1999), Dance of Sarasvati (1999), Koi (2004) and Mercury (2004). His Fantasy of BaiDi (2004) is a best-selling DVD in China.
Tu Shan Xiang’s performances often feature his wife, Rumi Yano, a Japanese sopranist, and Lee Mari, a Korean pianist. Although Rumi Yano cannot attend the upcoming event, Lee Mari and Matsuzaki Ariko, a Japanese cellist, will perform with Tu Shan Xiang.
At the Saigon Times Concert, Tu Shan Xiang, Lee Mari and Matsuzaki Ariko will enthrall the audience with their emotional and nuanced rendition of Silk Road by Japanese composer Kitaro.
Lee Mari pursued her postgraduate education at the Nagoya University of Arts in Japan. She is popular in Japan and China thanks to her renditions of pieces written for the piano. When performing with Tu Shan Xiang, Lee Mari has impressed the audience with a marvelous harmony of Western and Eastern musical instruments.
Japanese artist Matsuzaki Ariko who graduated from the Aichi University of Arts once played for the Checo Trio in Prague, the Czech Republic. She has received many chamber music awards and is both a soloist and a lecturer at her alma mater.
The HCMC Ballet and Symphony Orchestra will join these artists and perform pieces by Nguyen Van Thuong, a renowned Vietnamese composer who has made contributions to the development of Vietnam’s chamber music. Tro ve dat me (Return to the Motherland) is replete with beautiful melodies and reflective of Thuong’s love for central Vietnam while Rhapsody 2 (for t’rung and orchestra) showcases Thuong’s ability to delicately harmonize a traditional Vietnamese musical instrument, made of bamboo, with its Western counterparts. Ngo Tuyet Mai, a t’rung player, was the first to play this piece in HCMC in 2000, with Nguyen Van Thuong in the audience. Tuyet Mai will appear in the concert “Harmony of Trust” alongside the orchestra, with Tran Vuong Thach as the conductor.
Tran Vuong Thach graduated with a Premier Prix degree from the Conservatory of Liege (Belgium). In the early 1990s, he was a conductor with the Jean Noel Hamal Symphony Orchestra in LiÃ¨ge. Since Thach returned to Vietnam, he has worked at the HCM City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra and taught at the HCM City Conservatory of Music.
The concert is an effort by Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon to provide readers with a gratifying cultural experience. Tran Thi Ngoc Hue, editor-in-chief of the Saigon Times Group, says that the group is organizing such a social and cultural event to pave the way for Vietnam’s economic development.
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