American maestro David Itkin and Vietnamese violinist Vu Viet Chuong will perform at a concert celebrating 20 years of diplomatic relations between Viet Nam and the US at the HCM City Opera House on Thursday.
They will collaborate with the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) symphony orchestra in performing works by American composers Samuel Barber and Howard Hanson and Vu Viet Anh of Viet Nam, who is popular among local music fans for his pop songs.
The concert will open with Barber’s Violin Concerto featuring the performance of Chuong, who has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in the US and Viet Nam.
“The Violin Concerto has a gentle and romantic melody. I think Vietnamese audiences will love it,” said Chuong, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from the University of Houston, and is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of North Texas.
The show will be followed by Golden, Anh’s first composition for symphony orchestra written in 2011.
Maestro Itkin said: “Golden is an interesting piece. It features Vietnamese traditional music and symphony music.”
The evening will end with Hanson’s Symphony No 2 “Romantic” in D-flat Major.
Maestro Itkin, born in 1957, served as associate conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra from 1988 – 1993. Since 1993, he has been a music director and conductor with orchestras in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
The 2015-2016 season marks his 11th season as music director and conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his eighth year serving as professor of music at the University of North Texas College of Music.
In 2009, Maestro Itkin was awarded an honorary doctorate of human letters by Lyon College, and Above the Barre Award by Ballet Arkansas.
The concert, organised by HCM City’s Viet Nam-US Friendship Association and HBSO, is part of the association’s activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, chairwoman of the association, said the organisers planned to invite visually impaired students from Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School, members of the HCM City Association for Visually Impaired People, and children affected by dioxin from Hoa Binh and Thien Phuoc villages.
“The concert is a gift to disadvantaged people who have very few chances to participate in such an event,” she said.
The concert will begin at 7:30pm at the Opera House at 7 Lam Son Square in District 1.