17 – 25 Aug 2019, 8 pm
HCMC Opera House
No. 7 Lam Son Square, D.1, HCMC
Arts Festival Autumn Melodies, a large-scale academic arts Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, is held every 2 years by the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera with support of HCMC Department of Culture and Sports. This year, the Festival will take place from Saturday August 17 to Sunday August 25, 2019, with a total of eight concerts in nine days.
The three fields of ballet, opera, and symphonic music performed in this Festival all have breakthroughs in the program content.
In the field of symphonic and chamber music, the most significant guest artist is the world renown pianist People’s Artist Dang Thai Son. Dang Thai Son became an international name after he won First Prize and Gold Medal in the International Chopin Competition held in Warsaw, October 1980. In addition, he was the first Asian artist to win in this prestigious competition. Since then, he began his performance career at major concert halls around the world. The appearance of one of the best pianists in the world – Pianist Dang Thai Son is an honor to Ho Chi Minh City in general and the Arts Festival Autumn Melodies 2019 in particular. He will be performing in the closing concert on August 25th with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No:3 under the baton of the Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera – Meritorious Artist Tran Vuong Thach.
In addition to the symphonic field is the participation of many excellent artists in the country and internationally, notably is the International Chamber Players from the US and Hanoi, including 15 outstanding artists: musician Vu Viet Chuong (in the role of liasing, leading, and performing violin), Stephanie Chase (violin), Vilmos Szabadi (violin), Gregory Lee (violin), Petr Fedetov (violin), Swang Lin (violin), Nguyễn Thiện Minh (violin), Ngô Hoàng Linh (violin), Nguyễn Kim Mai (viola), Susan Dubois (viola), Bùi Anh Sơn (viola), Eugene Osadchy (cello), People’s Artist Ngô Hoàng Quân (cello), Avery Waite (cello), Anastasia Markina (piano). The International Chamber Players will have 2 concert nights on the 20th and 21st of August.
August 20 presents an evening of chamber music including the Vietnam premiere of a piano quintet, Memories of Hanoi, by Hoang Duong, arranged by Tran Manh Hung, with Chuong Vu playing first violin. There are also piano quintets by Dohnanyi and Dvorak.
A second evening of chamber music follows on August 21 that includes a string quartet by Milhaud plus an Ellington Fantasy for String Quartet and a Folk Suite from Afghanistan, both Vietnam premieres.
The Eine Flute Ensemble from Korea is a famous flute ensemble in their country. They were invited to perform in Austria, Colombia, and the U.S. With 14 members, the performance program entitled “Arirang, The Beauty of Korean Spirit” on the night of August 22nd with works by Leroy Anderson, Jiří Jirmal, Vittorio Monti, Ervin Drake and Korean pieces. The concert also has the participation of the Korean Children’s Choir of HCMC with nearly 30 members.
The concert of Vietnamese Young Talented Pianists with 6 pianists ranging between the age of 12 to 17 is also a remarkable night. Introducing young talents in the fields of professional arts is one of the main purpose of the Arts Festival Autumn Melodies. With 8 piano works ranging from Classical to Romantic to Impressionism, with composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, F. Liszt, F. Chopin, Saint-Saëns, C. Debussy… There are some special works for 4-hand piano, 2 piano duets, and 8 hands on 2 pianos. The concert is programed and edited by pianist Le Ho Hai, who is currently Head of Piano Department of the HCMC Conservatory.
The field of opera will start the Festival on August 17 with an interesting opera “Yesterday’s Memory”, written by Director Anna-Sophie Weber. The opera is kindly supported by the Geothe-Institut Vietnam. Noted to have a detective content, it starts with a murdering scene at the opera house. The opera will lead the audience on a complicated journey full of surprises, and a bit of paranoia. This will be a most unusual occasion. It begins and ends with items from Mozart’s Requiem, and contains pieces by Wagner, Handel, Kurt Weill, Bach, Weber, and more. This is the new idea of Director David Hermann, who had many successes with HBSO through big operas like the Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, Der Freischutz. For the opera Yesterday’s Memory, David Hermann and Anna-Sophie Weber will be directing and staging, Tran Nhat Minh will be conducting with the participation of the vocal coach from Germany Askan Geisler.
The ballet field will be performing a brand new work this year on the music of the composer I. Stravinsky. The work is named The Rite of Spring, staged by the Dutch choreographer Joost Vrouenraets for the HBSO Ballet artists, assisted by Marika Meoli. Choreographer Joost Vrouenraets has cooperated with HBSO Ballet through a contemporary work Café Saigon, a work that left special impression to the audiences in HCMC. The Right of Spring will be premiered on August 23 at 8pm.
Another program that is promised to be highly appealing to young audiences is the night of film music “Wind Concert” performed at 8pm on August 24. The night is programmed with popular songs and film music rearranged for Big Band with brass and percussion instruments always create the effects of triumphant and strong but also capable of conveying the beautiful and romantic melody lines. A full concert night dedicated to Big Band is something unusual in HCMC music life.
The concert is programmed by Nguyen Tuan Loc, who is currently Deputy Head of Brass-Percussion Department of HCMC Conservatory of Music. Performing for the night are the artists from HCMC Conservatory.
Eight performances in this Arts Festival Autumn Melodies 2019 are scheduled during the Festival with plenty of styles, forms, and colours ranging from classical to contemporary, promising to give the audience the opportunities to enjoy and discover as many performing arts as possible.