Accomplished violinist hopes to inspire young Vietnamese talent

Nguyen Huu Nguyen says he felt called to music at an early age. It has been a lifelong passion for the former HCMC Music Conservatory student, who now travels the world as a violinist with the French National Orchestra while striving to help other young musicians follow their dreams.

Soloist Nguyen Huu Nguyen (L) poses with his friend, cellist Jerome Lefranc (Photo: SGGP)
After finishing a recent 10-day tour through Beijing and Taiwan in February, Nguyen arrived in Vietnam to prepare for a concert March 10 at his former school.

Nguyen collaborated onstage at the HCMC Music Conservatory with Professor Sylvie Gazeau, a master violinist from France. The concert also featured performances by French cellist Jerome Lefranc and other Vietnamese artists including Nguyen Huu Khoi Nam, Le Ho Hai, Nguyen Thanh Huy and Thai Ha.

Speaking with SGGP, Nguyen said: “Every year, my orchestra usually tours around Europe and Asia. But sometimes, being a part of the orchestra during the tours still does not satisfy my musical passion.

“Therefore, there are times when I go elsewhere to play solo performances. In this way, I can explore a full range of musical genres from classical to jazz. Recently, myself and four other artists held several shows to entertain audiences both in France and Vietnam.”

When asked about his thoughts on the state of classical music training in Vietnam, Nguyen said that in the last few years, with the growth of the economy, the local classical music scene had experienced some positive developments. For instance, the HCMC Orchestra was granted new instruments while the HCMC Music Conservatory has held several training courses with support from foreign partners, he said.

However, according to Nguyen, further developments are necessary if Vietnam wants to take its classical music programs to the next level. He said that local musicians are poorly paid, lack facilities in which to train, and are in need of better training programs.  

Nguyen is now making efforts to help the country’s musicians by holding exchange programs in Vietnam; helping Vietnamese students studying in France; and assisting talented, young artists to obtain scholarships in Vietnam.

Born in 1972 in the south-central city of Nha Trang, Nguyen fell in love with music when he was just a boy. Pursuing his passion as he got older, the young artist signed up for a professional course at the HCMC Music Conservatory. A few years later, he traveled to France to continue his studies.

It was here in Europe that Nguyen saw an opportunity to take his talent to new heights. The French National Orchestra was holding auditions and the up-and-coming violinist decided to try out. After an outstanding performance that won over the judges, Nguyen was welcomed into the orchestra as a soloist.

Now, whenever he performs in his home country, Nguyen says he plays with all his heart and soul, adding that he hopes audiences will feel his passion and be as moved by the music as he is.
 
“I am grateful to have been so lucky,” says Nguyen. “I’m so happy to be able to both follow my passion for music and earn a living from it for the past 30 years. I feel an overflow of strength and passion to be able to pursue my chosen path and follow the call of music.”

Nguyen says that following his concert in Vietnam he will be busy touring with the French National Orchestra throughout the year. In September, he is also set to perform at a host of music festivals in London and Budapest. Next year, in April, Nguyen says he might hold performances in Canada and the US.

By Thuy Binh – Translated by Truong Son

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