German Year' to promote local composers

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A performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony in January at the opening ceremony of German Year in Vietnam 2010

Given Germany's rich history of classical music, the Goethe Institut has decided to use German Year Vietnam as a chance to showcase Vietnamese contemporary classical composers influenced by the European tradition.

Programming for German Year a yearlong project taking place across Vietnam in 2010 will include concerts, exhibitions, artist exchanges, public art, dance performances, musical theater, and book tours that introduce German culture to Vietnamese audiences.

Dr. Paul Weinig, director of Goethe Institut, said the Berlin contemporary art scene was one of the most vibrant in Europe, attracting artists from all over the world, particularly Asia, according to the event's recently-released promotional material.

Thus, German Year Vietnam will have the double focus of not only promoting European arts in Asia, but also boosting the profile of some of Vietnam's best artists at home.

With a strong classical music tradition that is heavy on Bach, Brahms and Beethoven as well as Russian composers Vietnam is also home to a burgeoning contemporary music scene where musicians are experimenting, breaking conventions and testing local audiences' boundaries.

"The music in this program will not necessarily be something easy to listen to, it will need some heavy thinking," said Weinig.

Indeed, that is exactly what the music of Vu Nhat Tan the leader of a new generation of Vietnamese composers reflecting the noises and rhythms of modern life is known for.

Weinig said Tan's sounds which will be performed as part of German Year were "created by the colliding of human being and things in small places."

The work of Vietnamese composers Tri Minh and Minh Ngoc will also be showcased during the program.

GERMAN YEAR VIETNAM HIGHLIGHTS IN APRIL

"¢ April 3, 7:30 p.m.: Hanoi Soundscape by Robert Henke, Tri Minh and Vu Nhat Tan takes place at Goethe Institut, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Hanoi

"¢ April 3, 8 p.m.: The Cracking Bamboo international percussion festival plays the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music, 112 Nguyen Du St., District 1

"¢ April 16: An international fashion show by Escada, Talbot Runhof and Van Laack hits the German Ambassador's residence in Hanoi

"¢ April 20-22: A photo exhibition and workshop titled "Food Security & Climate Change" takes place at La Thanh Hotel, 218 Doi Can St., Hanoi.

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