A Night of Franz Liszt and Antonin Dvorak

A Night of Franz Liszt and Antonin Dvorak

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08 pm , Sat 03 Oct 2020
Sai Gon Opera House
07 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh City

From the organizer:

The Ho Chi Minh City Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will perform a concert of music by Liszt and Dvorak.

This event will be the second to be organized by HBSO since they re-opened after their second Covid19 shut-down. The first will be on Saturday September 26 and will consist of opera extracts and some instrumental items.

The two works to be presented on October 3 are Liszt’s Piano Concerto Number 2 and Dvorak’s Symphony Number 9, “From the New World”.

Liszt was a famous virtuoso pianist in the mid-19th century who knew almost every composer of the era. Wagner’s second wife, Cosima, was Liszt’s illegitimate daughter.

His second piano concerto (he actually wrote three, but the third is rarely played and was unknown in his lifetime) is a complex affair. To begin with it’s in one single movement, divided into six sections. Normally piano concertos have three movements, so whether this item of Liszt’s is judged to have one movement or six it is very unusual.

It differs from his first piano concerto in giving the orchestra more prominence. The first piano concerto is a virtuoso piece for the pianist, whereas the second has the soloist frequently following the lead of the orchestral musicians.

The soloist in Saigon will be the young Hanoi pianist Luu Duc Anh, aged 27. He won first prize in piano competitions in Poland, Belgium and Sweden between 2014 and 2017, and won a Special Prize for the Most Impressive Artist in France, also in 2017.

The second half of the concert will be taken up with Dvorak’s famous New World Symphony.

Antonin Dvorak was a Czech composer but he accepted an invitation to go to America where he lived, conducted and composed for several years. He was especially moved by African-American spirituals, and some of their melodies appear in this symphony.

But Dvorak was engaged in an unhappy love affair at the time, and feelings deriving from this also had their influence on the symphony. The story is told in a novel, Dvorak in Love, by the Czech writer Josef Skvorecky.

But the vast landscapes of North America affected Dvorak deeply, and they are also part of the material used in the composition of the New World Symphony.

This symphony, the last that Dvorak wrote, is the most popular of all his symphonies, and probably of all his works.

This concert will be conducted by Honna Tetsuji who has been Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi since 2009. He won First Prize in the Budapest International Conducting Competition in 1992, and has received many other awards.

This concert combines intellectual rigor in the Liszt with melodic appeal in the Dvorak item. It should prove very popular, especially coming as it does after HBSO’s enforced closure due to the Corona virus.

Tickets are from 300,000 VND to 650,000 VND, with a special concession for students of 80,000 VND.

About conductor Honna Tetsuji

Honna Tetsuji studied under Kazuo Yamada and Michiyoshi Inoue and studied at Royal Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra and London Sifonietta. He was appointed as Permanent Conductor of Osaka Symphony Orchestra (1995-2001), Guest Permanent Conductor of Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra (1997-2000), and Music Advisor and Conductor of Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (2001-2009).

Maestro Honna has conducted numerous orchestras including La Scala Philharmonic, Filharmonia London, Hungary State Symphony and Arturo Toscanini Orchestra, among others.

His competition achievements include 2nd prize of Tokyo International Competition, 2nd prize of Arturo Toscanini International Conductor’s Competition, and 1st prize of Budapest International Conductor’s Competition. He was the recipient of many awards and prizes, including Nippon Steel Music Award Fresh Artist, Cultural Minister Prize of Japan, Foreign Minister Prize of Japan, and Cultural Medal by the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Current Music Director of Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Honna has brought the orchestra to several highly acclaimed international concert tours, including first American Tour at New York Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall (2011), first Italy Tour at Teatro La Fenice Venice, Teatro Maggio Florence, and Capella Paolina at the Italian Presidential Palace (2013), and first time on the stages of the Grand Hall of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and of the Grand Hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia in Russia (2014).

About Luu Duc Anh

Luu Duc Anh is a brilliant pianist of his generation and currently being one of the most active classical music performers in Vietnam with numerous concerts every year. He is well-known for his versatility to perform brilliantly as soloist, chamber musician and accompanist. Born in 1993 in Hanoi, he began studying Piano with his father, Associate Professor, Artist of merit Luu Quang Minh, one of the leading teachers in Accordion and Jazz in Vietnam. From 2000 to 2011, he studied at the National Academy of Music of Vietnam under the guidance of Prof. Tran Thu Ha. After finishing the Intermediate level, he continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Liège, Belgium, class of Prof.Jean Schils. He obtained his Bachelor degree in 2013 and Master degree in 2015.

In 2016, he received full scholarship to pursue advanced studies at the Malmö Academy of Music, Sweden under the tuition of the famous professor and pianist Hans Palsson. Duc Anh also studied with international acclaimed professors such as Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Johan Schmidt…

During his studies, he has won numerous music awards including:
– Second prize at the Autumn Concours 2007 in Hanoi-Vietnam
– Second prize at the “Classical Sonata” competition 2009 in Sydney, Australia
– Second Prize at the 1st International Piano Competition 2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam
– Second Prize at the Belgium-Luxembourg Piano Competition 2014 in Liège-Belgium
– First prize at the “Léopold Godowsky” International Piano Competition 2014 in Warsaw, Poland
– First prize at the “Andrée Charlier” Piano Competition 2015 in Charleroi-Belgium.
– First prize at the Stockholm International Piano Competition 2017 in Stockholm-Sweden.
– Special prize at the “Alain Marinaro” International Piano Competition 2017 in Collioure, France.
– Second prize (Chamber music Category) and Special prize for the best Vietnamese ensemble at the 1st Vietnam International Music Competition for Violin & Chamber music

Duc Anh is a regular guest soloist of Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and has also appeared as soloist with London Chamber Orchestra, Helsingsborg Symhony Orchestra, Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique du Conservatoire Royal de Liège under the baton of various conductors such as Jonas Alber, Honna Tetsuji, Christopher Warren-Green, Maritt Strindlund, Patrick Baton, Nguyen Thieu Hoa,…

He has appeared on many concert stages in Vietnam, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Australia and Japan, also attended masterclass of well-known artists such as Dang Thai Son, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Tibor Szasz, Georg-Friedrich Schenck, Daniel Rivera, Johan Schmidt, Claude Bessmann, Susumu Aoyagi … He also received scholarships to participate in some prestigious music festivals such as the Kirishima International Music Festival in Japan and the Pablo Casals Festival in France.
In 2017, he co-founded Maestoso with 3 other colleagues, focusing in organizing classical concerts in Vietnam. The group has achieved great success with many large scale concerts held at the Hanoi Opera House, Vietnam National Academy of Music, St.Joseph Cathedral of Hanoi…

With huge success in his musician career as well as his contribution to the classical music field in Vietnam, he was nominated in the Top 10 most brilliant young person of Hanoi in 2017 and Top 10 most promising young person of Vietnam in 2017. In 2018, he was invited to give a private performance for Mr. Prime Minister of France, Edouard Phillipe at Van Mieu (temple of literature) in Hanoi, Vietnam and later for the Princess Victoria of Sweden at the same venue.

Beside an active concert schedule, he has started teaching at the Piano Department, Vietnam National Academy of music as the youngest lecturer of the department from 2018 and also served as headmaster of Inspirito School of Music in Hanoi. Since then, many of his students has won top prizes at international and domestic competitions. Duc Anh has also served as juror at the various competitions in Vietnam as well as giving masterclasses monthly for young Vietnamese students.

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