Thursday, 02/11/2023 08:52

Saigon international guitar festival attracts VN, foreign soloists

GUITAR HERO - Guitarist Toru Kobayashi and mandolinist Mai Hayashi from Japan will perform at the opening concert of the 2023 Saigon International Guitar Festival & Competition at the HCM City Conservatory of Music from November 1-5. Photo courtesy of the organiser

HCM CITY — Famous guitarists from Việt Nam and the world have presented four concerts and a series of masterclasses during the 2023 Saigon International Guitar Festival & Competition organised by the HCM City Conservatory of Music from November 1-5.    

The festival started with the “Carnaval de Guitare” concert on November 1, featuring Mai Hayashi and Toru Kobayashi from Japan and the Saigon Guitar Quartet consisting of Nguyễn Thanh Huy, Huỳnh Bá Thơ, Nguyễn Trí Đoàn, and Trần Hoài Phương.

They played soundtracks from Ghibli Studio’s animation Howl’s Moving Castle, and popular pieces by composers such as Rossini, Saint-Saëns, and Takashi Yuasa.

The festival will also present artists Wantanabe Mihoko, Kazuo Nishimoto, Etsuko Nishimoto, and Gen Matsuda from Japan, Paulo Inda from Brazil, Gérard Abiton from France, Katarzyna Smolarek from Poland, and Leon Koudelak from Czech Republic, who will perform works by Japanese and Western composers.

LOCAL TALENT - Saigon Guitar Quartet will take part in the festival. Photo courtesy of the organiser

A series of workshops and master classes for guitarists and guitar ensemble will be organised during the festival and hosted by guest performers.

All the classes are free to the public, where they can learn about guitar techniques and how to set up a guitar.

In the framework of the festival, the organisers will launch a guitar contest for both self-taught and professional guitarists from Asia.

The contest consists of five categories, including Open, Junior (for competitors aged under 18 years old), Guitar Ensemble, Local, and Local Junior (for contestants aged under 13).

The winner and first runner-up of the Open Category will be awarded a guitar from South Korean guitar luthier Kim Sang Gil, and a guitar from Tranguitar of Việt Nam, respectively.

The other winners will receive cash prizes. All of them will have chances to perform at the festival next year.

Nguyễn Thanh Huy, deputy head of Western Musical Instruments Department and a member of the organising board, said, “The festival aims to create an opportunity for local guitarists, particularly young artists, to learn new knowledge and techniques from famed soloists from Việt Nam and the world.”

The festival will take place at the conservatory’s music hall at 112 Nguyễn Du Street in District 1.

Tickets for the concerts are available at ticketbox.vn. — VNS   

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