“‘Around the world’ is a mix of different cultures”: Conductor Martín García...

“‘Around the world’ is a mix of different cultures”: Conductor Martín García León

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Written by Tuyet Hoa for VNOB and Hanoi Grapevine
Do not copy or re-post without permission from the author

The new season concert “Around the world” is part of a series of events to celebrate the 60th year anniversary of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB). It conveys the spirit of spring travel under the direction of Meritorious Artist Tran Ly Ly – director of VNOB – a new year gift from all the participating artists to Vietnamese audience in general and Hanoians in particular. Below is a quick interview with Mr. Martín García León from Argentina, conductor of the concert.

Martín García León. Photo from the artist’s Facebook page

Why did you accept the invitation to take on the role of a conductor for ‘Around the World’?

I accepted this wonderful offer because I think the performance will show people in Hà Nội how wonderful, emotive, energetic and enjoyable  music can be no matter which part of the world it is performed. We can show the audience little bits of very different cultures and I think that is magical. That’s why this project caught my attention. I have always wanted to be a conduct in the Asian continent to learn more about your culture and try to learn your language and communicate with the people here through music. I think the ways we make music more exciting are very different between Vietnam and Argentina. We can learn from each other new ways to re-invent this special art.

Have you ever attended any programme like this in Vietnam?

No, I have not had such pleasure before, but I cannot express the happiness of being in Vietnam for the first time and having the honour to conduct VNOB at the Hanoi Opera House.

What do you think about the show you will perform with VNOB?

I think Around the World is an excellent idea for a theater to open a new season. We can show a mix of different cultures and we can all have a great time – the audience in Hanoi, the VNOB musicians and myself. It’s going to be a beautiful night full of happiness and fireworks. I like the programme very much.

Which part of ‘Around the World’ impressed you most?

I think the most impressive piece in Around the World is the Overture of Ruslan and Ludmila of Glinka. It had so much energy that it made me jump on the podium, and so is Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No 8. These two pieces have so much energy in themselves that it is impossible for me not to be moved by them.

As young conductor, what do you think about symphonic music? Are there any obstacles to its development and what are the solutions?

As far as my country and all of Latin America are concerned, there is an economic crisis. Symphonic orchestra now is facing many obstacles. Most orchestras have to rely on a ministry of culture. The number of artists able to make a living by playing in orchestras is shrinking because of the unstable policies from the governments regarding music. A solution that I can propose is to find private investors who want to help orchestras in Argentina or Latin America not to depend too much on the governments in this time of crisis. I do hope orchestras can find international private investors.

What will you say about the show to your audience?

Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this amazing concert. You will laugh, cry and be moved in different ways by music and so much more. We are going to have performances from the ballet and choir of VNOB as well as their singers.

We have it all in just one concert. It is full of good energy and happiness, and this is all for the audience of Việt Nam. It will be a great honour for VNOB and myself to welcome you all to the concert.

Thank you and wish you and VNOB a great successful ‘Around the world’!

Tuyet Hoa


Martín García León was born in 1990 in General Roca city, a small city located at the North of Patagonia Argentina. He started to develop interest in music from a very early age and began his formal piano training at the age of 14 years old at I.U.P.A. (Institutouniversitariopatagónico de lasartes). He later earned a Bachelor degree in Orchestral Conducting. During five years living in Buenos Aires, Martín García León was assistant conductor at Camerata Santa Cecilia, conducting on several occasions the “Carlos Bertazza” symphony orchestra, and participating in several concerts across the country. In 2018, he was conducting the Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and at the festival of contemporary music Disat Terra music festival organized by the Fundación Antiqua Nova in Choele Choel (Argentinian Patagonia), making the world premiere of several works of Mariano Etkin, Cecilia Villanueva, and Jose Sciarrino, among others. He was recently back to Argentina from Cusco Peru to gave a Materclass on Orchestral Conducting upon an invitation from the Universidad Nacional Diego QuispeTIto, and arranged a concert with the Symphonic Orchestra of Cusco as part of their program for the 2020 season.

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