Toyota to Launch Live Performances in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Under the direction of renowned conductor Honna Tetsuji and celebrated artist Nguyen Dang Quang, the 2023 Toyota Concert is set to be held in two of Vietnam's most iconic cities - Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

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The Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (VNSO) has announced that two shows of the Toyota Concert 2023 will be held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on August 5 and 8, respectively. These concerts, featuring Japanese conductor Honna Tetsuji and pianist Nguyen Dang Quang, are set to deliver impressive classical music performances to the public. All ticket sales proceeds will be donated to students pursuing classical music studies as part of the Toyota Scholarship, which aims to support young Vietnamese musical talent.

Pianist Nguyen Dang Quang comes from a family with a strong artistic background. He began studying piano at the Vietnam National Academy of Music when he was 9 years old.

The pianist Nguyen Dang Quang is one of the most talented artists in Vietnam. Photo: VNSO

In 2020, at the age of 22, Quang completed his undergraduate studies in classical piano performance at the University of Montreal in Canada with a full scholarship from the Vietnamese Government. He was mentored by renowned Vietnamese pianist Professor Dang Thai Son. Quang went on to complete his master’s degree in 2022 and is currently pursuing his doctorate at the University of Montreal. With numerous prestigious music awards, Quang is considered a rising star in Vietnamese music.

In the Toyota Concert 2023 program, Quang will collaborate with conductor Honna Tetsuji and the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra to perform two world classics: “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43” composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff, and “Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43” composed by Jean Sibelius.

“Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43” consists of 24 variations, each showcasing different musical material that narrates the story of Paganini – an Italian violinist and composer – and his dealings with the devil and his love life.

“Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43” by Jean Sibelius is also known as the “Independence Symphony” for its bold and distinct Finnish musical elements. The composition consists of multiple segments with varying tempos, allowing for rich nuances.

In addition to the 2023 Toyota Concert, the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra will also perform a summer concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan (1973-2023).

Conductor Honna Tetsuji and the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra. Photo: VNSO

The summer concert will take place on the evening of August 10 at the Trung Vuong Theater in Danang City. This event aims to promote cultural and artistic ties, reaffirming the long-term cooperation between Vietnam and Japan. The beautiful coastal city and its numerous tourists will have the opportunity to enjoy classical musical works from around the world.

The concert repertoire includes gentle and soaring melodies such as “Morning Mood” by Edvard Grieg, as well as lively compositions like Leroy Anderson’s modern works featuring the sound of a ticking clock, a dancing cat, and a tango. There will also be performances of masterpieces from Johann Strauss, including the popular Pizzicato Polka.

An interesting highlight of the event is the “Conductor’s Corner” where the audience gets to step onto the stage and conduct. Conductor Honna Tetsuji will lead an excerpt from the musical Carmen, giving the audience the chance to showcase their conducting skills and interact with the orchestra. Honna Tetsuji has been the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the VNSO since 2009. He previously served as the conductor of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra from 1995 to 2001 and was a frequent guest conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra from 1998 to 2001. He currently holds the position of Artistic Advisor at the Vietnam Young Music Academy (VYMI) since 2021.