Noted pianist accompanies young baritone

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Leading pianist Nguyen Bich Tra will team up with young semi-classical singer Nguyen Hai Dang for the first time at the "Piano & Voice" concert on August 5.

Tra said she is looking forward to the concert.

"I usually accompany singers in Britain, but I have never done this in Vietnam. The previous concerts in Vietnam were my solo or with the orchestra. This time it will be a different kind of pleasure," she told Thanh Nien.

Bich Tra, better known as Tra Nguyen, is now based in London. She is the first Vietnamese pianist to win recording contracts with big record names like Naxos and Sterling.

Tra said that she knows Dang from having collaborated with him in making a recording of Schubert's music recently.

"He is such a great young talent and I suppose that he still has a long career ahead. In the process of making the album, the idea of organizing a duet concert flashed through my mind. I was also thinking about the difficulty that classical music encounters in Vietnam. People usually think that the genre is unpopular and esoteric. But the closer it comes to the public, the more barriers it will break."

She hoped more such concerts could be organized toward making classical music more popular in Vietnam.

As for herself, Vietnam is not the ideal environment to pursue her piano dreams now, she said.

"I want to have more performances in Vietnam, but it depends on other factors. Living in Vietnam with my mother is such a great and peaceful choice, but life in Britain allows me to devote more time to tutoring, performing and recording. As of now, I am still working in two countries concurrently."

Tra said she will record three CDs, all featuring Joachim Raff's music, for well-known music label Naxos in November. She will spend six weeks in Vietnam with her mother, local movie icon turned painter Tra Giang.

The concert, which will take place at 8 p.m. at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music, will also have a special guest, soprano Ngoc Tuyen.

Ticket prices range from VND300,000 to VND500,000. Students enjoy a special price of VND90,000.

Tickets can be booked and delivered by calling Mr. Duc at 090 397 3077, Ms. Tram at 093 583 3179 or by emailing nguyenminh77@gmail.com.

The concert is organized by MFC Music, a local media company, and the HCMC Conservatory of Music.

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