Meritorious Artist Tran Vuong Trach: Bringing classical art closer to the public

NDO – Nearly 200 international and Vietnamese artists will participate in the 11th Autumn Melodies Arts Festival, held from August 19 to 27 in Ho Chi Minh City. The event is the only festival in Vietnam in the field of symphony, chamber music, opera and ballet. This event is held every two years. The ‘great party’ promises to bring the high quality spiritual foods closer to the music lovers.

On the occasion, Meritorious Artist Tran Vuong Thach, who is also the conductor and Director of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra (HBSO), granted an interview to Nhan Dan Weekly Newspaper to share about the festival.

Changing in selective thinking

Q: Compared to the 10 previous times, what is the new feature of the 11th Autumn Melodies Arts Festival 2017?

A: The biennial Autumn Melodies Arts Festival has long been a high-quality brand of art in Ho Chi Minh City, filtering the quintessence across three types – Opera, chamber music, symphony and contemporary dance. Every time we organise, we try to find high quality spiritual foods to send to the public, for example, in this year’s event will be the opera named ‘The Bat’ from the composer Johann Strauss. The opera is full of drama, promising to offer many levels of emotions to the audience.

The program brings together over 200 international artists from worldwide countries and leading Vietnamese artists. Among them, many talented young artists have won international awards such as Tran Le Quang Tien, who won the eighth place at the 10th international Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians; 12-year-old talented pianist Lan Anh from the Ho Chi Minh City Academy of Music; and Khanh Ngoc opera singer, who won international award in Singapore; as well as singers Dao Mar, Meritorious Artist Hong Vy, Pham Trang, Duyen Huyen, ballet artist Tran Hoang Yen, dance artists Phan Thai Binh, Sung A Lung and Phan Tieu Ly. The young talents will be new faces for the academic art lovers.

Q: The festival has invited many international artists to Vietnam, which demonstrates the festival’s prestige. Is it true that the HBSO has made great efforts in this?

A: HBSO invited many artists, such as cellist Ulrich Horn from Germany, violinist Hoang Tuan Cuong from Germany and conductor Le Phi Phi from Macedonia, to come back and perform with Vietnamese artists.

The theater had an invitation to People’s Artist Dang Thai Son. However, due to being an examiner at Helsinki music contest in Finland, he did not attend this year’s festival and he was scheduled to attend Autumn Melodies Arts Festival 2019. In addition, we also negotiated with some Japanese symphony orchestras to invite them to perform in Vietnam in next festivals.

Offering art ‘party’ to public

Q: Foreign classic works is highlighted at the festival whether the programme is onerous? Do you intend to perform more Vietnamese works in social significance programs like Autumn Melodies Arts Festival?

A: In 2005, the Autumn Melodies Arts Festival was born with the desire to introduce young talented Vietnamese who are trained abroad and have outstanding achievements. Of course, aiming to bring the high quality spiritual foods to the public, first of all, we are forced to perform classic works and great works to impress the public after each season.

‘Autumn Melodies’ has now become a large-scale art festival that brings together many outstanding Vietnamese and international talents. From tenth season in 2015 and 11th festival in this year, and from now onwards, we have a roadmap which will focus on set and perform more outstanding works of Vietnam.

For example, the performance of ‘The by choreographer Bui Ngoc Quan in 2015 and the dance performance ‘Gone through Love’ by choreographers Nguyen Phuc Hai and Nguyen Phuc Hung will be staged in Autumn Melodies Art Festival 2017.

Aiming to harmonise different works indifferent fields – opera, chamber music, symphony and contemporary dance – in the same season, we have considered carefully when we will arrange Vietnamese works. The ultimate goal is to offer the public a great ‘party’ of art.

Q: Being the leader of the HBSO and leading the academic arts game, have you been met with many difficulties, such as high priced tickets?

A: We focus on arranging and performing large and classical works, which will enhance the artistic aesthetics of the public. For example, the play ‘The Magic Flute’ or the opera ‘The Bat’ in this year’s festival – the most well-known opera of the young J. Strauss genius musician.

With many spiritual foods, we believe that we will bring academic music closer to the audiences. The Autumn Melodies Arts Festivals in recent years have had many “sold out” shows. The consideration of ticket prices is to really fit the Vietnamese public, there are even free programmes as gifts for audiences, namely two outdoor trumpet concerts in space in front of the theatre.

Thank you so much for the interview!

* Meritorious Artist Tran Vuong Thach was born on July 5, 1961 in Ho Chi Minh City, where he is currently the conductor and Director of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra (HBSO) and Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Music Association and Member of Executive Board of Vietnam Musicians Association. He was presented the title of Meritorious Artist in 2006.

* Some special peformances of the 11th Autumn Melodies Arts Festival 2017: the concert of the young talents of Russia, Armenia; French Chamber Music Night; Young Vietnamese Talents Concert Classical Guitar Concert by Saigon Guitar Quartet; Chamber concert ‘8 Seasons’; and Gala Night Journey Through Europe: People and Landscapes with the participation of artists from the International Chamber Players and violinist Bui Cong Duy, Vu Viet Chuong from the US, Tran Huu Quoc (RoK) and Gregory Lee (the US). ‘Gone through Love’, performed on August 26 and choreographed by Nguyen Phuc Hung and Nguyen Phuc Hai, will unveil various angles about love, with participation of young ballet dancers Tran Hoang Uyen, Nguyen Thu Trang, Phan Tieu Ly, Sung A Lung, Phan Thai Binh and Nguyen Minh Tam. The HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra (HBSO) will introduce the latest compositions Symphony Suite “Reminiscence” by Nguyen Manh Duy Linh and “Spring Prayers”, a Suite for choir and orchestra by Vu Viet Anh.



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