Europeans return to rock Vietnam

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German band Ma'a lot Quintet has opened this year's European Music Festival being held at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music and the Youth Theater in Hanoi.

The band, one of the leading international chamber ensembles, performed classical and modern compositions for brass by Mozart, Ligeti, Glanert, and Piazzolla in HCMC Thursday and will play in the capital Friday.

Ma'a lot, formed in 1986, has won prizes in several major international competitions and toured Asia, the United States, and South America.

The Germans will be joined by artists from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the UK, and Slovakia at the annual event to be held from November 17 to 28.

The Delegation of the European Union in Vietnam, the event organizer, said in a press release that talented European singers and musicians jazz musicians from the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, Slovakian pop singer Milena Minichova, and British rock band Zun Zun Egui will perform various genres including world music.

This year, besides continuing to look for ways to diversify its audience and repertoire to celebrate the richness of European culture, the festival will present a mixture of European and Vietnamese musicians to demonstrate that music breaks down linguistic and cultural barriers and never needs to be interpreted but connects everyone.

Fans of jazz in both cities can look forward to Harmen Fraanje and Avalonia Trio from the Netherlands, Mélanie De Biasio and Pascal Mohy from Belgium, and Swing Quartet from France performing some sophisticated melodies from November 20 to 24.

Free tickets can be obtained at the following addresses:

* In Hanoi:

Goethe Institute, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street
Tel: (04) 3 734 2251/52

British Council, 20 Thuy Khue Street
Tel: (04) 3 843 6780

L'Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street.
Tel: (04) 3 936 2164

Vietnam Performing Arts Center, 6th Floor, 32 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street
Tel/Fax : (04) 3 747 8658

* In HCMC:

Goethe Institute, 18 Road No.1, Do Thanh Condo, Ward 4, District 3
Tel: (08) 3 600 9587

British Council, 25 Le Duan Street, District 1
Tel: (08) 3 823 2862

IDECAF, 31 Thai Van Lung Street, District 1
Tel: (08) 3 829 5451

On the 20th and 22nd Harmen Fraanje, a preeminent jazz pianist, will collaborate with Avalonia Trio to perform world music.

The Swing Quartet, comprising of French and Vietnamese musicians, will play French swing works by Django Rheinardt and Stéphane Grapelli, Yves Montand, and Georges Brassens at the Youth Theater on the 22nd.

The jazz nights on the 24th and 28th will be followed by performances of singer De Biasio and pianist Mohy along with drummer Le Quoc Hung of Hanoi, and saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan of HCMC.

The much acclaimed Zun Zun Egui, formed in Bristol's side streets, will perform in the southern metro on the 25th and Hanoi on the 26th before Minichova ends the festival with performances on the 27th and 28th.

The Slovak is a versatile young star. Besides being a singer and musician, she performs Slovak and Czech theater, acts in TV series, and is an award-winning film star. Her "Tango" represented Slovakia at the Seoul International Drama Awards in South Korea last year.

All the shows begin at 8 p.m.

The Youth Theater is at 11 Ngo Thi Nham Street, Hanoi, while the HCMC Conservatory of Music is located on 112 Nguyen Du Street, District 1.

Information about the festival can be found at its website

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