Vietnamese and Japanese People United Through Symphony Music

In October, a group of talented Vietnamese artists will be traveling to Japan for a series of special performances.

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The Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) held a press conference on August 22nd to announce the Japan tour program of the Vietnam-Japan Festival Symphony Orchestra. Consisting of 60 artists, the orchestra’s theme is “Friendship, Intercession, and Hope.”

This program is part of a series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan. It is scheduled to take place from October 2nd to 10th in Tokyo and Gunma prefectures – where a significant number of Vietnamese people reside – as well as Iwate, Fukushima, Miyagi, and Nara provinces, which were the areas most affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Symphony Music Connects Vietnamese, Japanese People
The Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Theater held a press conference to introduce the tour program in Japan by the Vietnam-Japan Festival Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Cong Luan newspaper

The concert serves as both a remembrance for those who lost their lives and a symbol of hope for a brighter future. The organizers have allocated 100 invitations for families severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami, as well as Vietnamese families living in the affected areas.

The final performance is scheduled to take place at the Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji Temple in Nara, which was a major center of trade between Japan and Vietnam thousands of years ago.

In early October 2023, 60 Japanese and Vietnamese musicians will come together in Japan to form the Vietnam-Japan Festival Symphony Orchestra. Notably, soloist Nguyen Viet Trung, the first Vietnamese artist to compete in the prestigious Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in four decades, will also participate. This marks the second time a Vietnamese contestant has competed in the competition since pianist Dang Thai Son won the Grand Prize at the 10th Chopin competition 40 years ago.

Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam, Yamada Takio, expressed his admiration for the establishment of the dream orchestra, stating that it beautifully represents the harmonious friendship between Japan and Vietnam.

Led by conductor Dong Quang Vinh, the Vietnam-Japan Festival Symphony Orchestra, together with the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet, will make history as the first symphony orchestra consisting of Vietnamese and Japanese artists to be conducted by a Vietnamese conductor.

Symphony Music Connects Vietnamese, Japanese People
Conductor Dong Quang Vinh is the first Vietnamese conductor to lead the Vietnam-Japan Festival Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Quang Ninh Newspaper

During the announcement ceremony, conductor Dong Quang Vinh revealed that the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The combination of the symphony orchestra with traditional Vietnamese instruments, as well as the fusion of Western classical music with Vietnamese ethnic music, will be an intriguing highlight of the performances.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to further build bridges between the hearts of artists from both countries,” said conductor Dong Quang Vinh.

Hannah Nguyen