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European Music Festival set to return
  • | VET | November 14, 2019 06:36 PM

After a gap year, the European Music Festival is coming back to Vietnam from November 18 to 30 at the Youth Theater in Hanoi and the Conservatory of Music in Ho Chi Minh City.




Pianist Anna Magdalena Kokits/ Photo: EU Delegation in Vietnam

In this 17th edition, talented artists from Austria, Belgium (Wallonia-Brussels), France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the Netherlands will perform in 12 concerts in both cities. Varied genres of music will feature, including delicate classical music, improvised and engaging jazz, authentic folk music, and exciting pop songs.


The festival is organized by the EU Delegation to Vietnam, EU member state embassies, and European cultural centers in Vietnam and aims to showcase the richness and diversity of European culture as well as promote cultural exchange between the two sides.

International music acts to attend include Atome, a French pop band from Brussels formed in July 2016; “Terék József and friends”, with a Tarogató Hungarian concert; jazz singer and composer Nani from the Netherlands; the Mezzotono group from Italy; Austrian pianist Anna Magdalena Kokits; the Ensemble Phoenix Munich Band from Germany, and international music band “Lettres De Hanoi”.

Austrian pianist Anna is known for her fresh approach to classical music. In her innovative programs she presents a famous repertoire and contemporary pieces as well as music that has unjustly sunk into oblivion, such as the works of Jewish composers who were forced into exile.

Her performances are captivating excursions through different styles of music and diverse cultures, interwoven with stories and anecdotes.

Mezzotono offers a show that is conceived in a very original way and is different from a traditional concert. Indeed, the show is performed without any musical instruments. There are only five voices that, imitating the sound of real instruments and with a comical approach, encouraging audience participation in a nice and not-at-all pushy manner. The aim is to cover many musical styles with Italian songs that go from jazz to pop, bossanova, mambo, tango, folklore, big band style, or classical music, showing that it is possible to do everything just with the voice.

Meanwhile, Lettres De Hanoi will perform an outstanding multimedia concert at the festival. While doing his military service in Vietnam in 1927-1928, the French poet and author Jean Tardieu wrote letters that provide a unique portrayal of the times. Two of those letters were published posthumously at the author’s request and translated into Vietnamese in a bilingual publication entitled “Lettres de Hanoi / Thu Ha Noi”. The poetic language of those letters displays great sensitivity in describing the people, culture, and landscapes of Vietnam with extraordinary insight.

Taking inspiration from this evocative text, the composers Luong Hue Trinh and Jean-David Caillouët have created pieces exploring the complex relationship and history between their two respective countries. Combining Western and traditional Vietnamese instruments, electronics and video as well as a newly-written poem by Emmanuel Labrande, the concert will feature performances by an exclusively Franco-Vietnamese cast: SonX from the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (Hanoi), Minh Tam Nguyen from Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Pablo Tognan from the ensemble Multilatéral (Paris) and conservatoire de Romainville, Jean-David Caillouët from the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music (Bangkok), and Doan Thanh Binh and Luong Hue Trinh (Hanoi).

Tickets are free and registrations can be made from November 14 at the EU Music Festival 2019 site.

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