Vietnam Foundation was a joint organiser of the World Festival of Vietnamese Traditional Music 2015 held in Sydney from 14 to 16 August 2015. This is the third time that such a Festival was organised. The previous festivals were held in Toronto, Canada in 2011 and in Seattle, USA, in 2913.
The Festival consisted of sessions of talks, presentations, music demonstrations, etc., with the participation of established musicians, artists and scholars from around the world, including local academics such as Prof Aeron Corn of the Australian National University and Prof Diana Blom of the University of Western Sydney.
The highlight of the Festival was the Gala Concert at the modern 300-seat Bryan Brown Theatre, in Bankstown, NSW. Tickets for the concert was completely sold out many days before the event.
The concert was indeed a very rare event where more than 50 artists of more than 10 music groups from 5 countries (Canada, USA, France, Norway and Australia) coming together to showcase Vietnamese Traditional music.
The concert program was varied and enticing. Traditional music of various genres and from different regions of Vietnam were presented: from traditional folk songs to imperial court music to music of the cải lương (reformed theatre) style. For the first time in Australia đàn Đá (lithophone) from the Central Highlands of Vietnam was introduced and played in a public concert. Other interesting items of the concert included a recital of Mozart’s Alla Turca with the đàn T’rưng (made of bamboo, also from the Central Highlands of Vietnam) and the recreation of ‘Danse de l’Indochine’ (Indochina Dance) which the French legendary ballerina Cléo de Mérode performed with a group of Vietnamese Tài Tử musicians in the Paris Exposition in 1900.
The audience was so enthralled by the beautiful music and superb performances that they stayed clued to their seats till midnight when the four-hour concert concluded with a rousing standing ovation.
Prior to concert, many Vietnamese Traditional Musical Instruments were also exhibited at the lobby of the theatre.
For more details of the Festival please visit the Festival website
The Festival was widely reported in the press. Some festival goers have also made recordings of some items of the concert. For examples:
Postscript: A DVD of the whole Festival concert has been produced and distributed to many public libraries around the world. See cover
* Photos on this page are courtesy of Mai San