Renowned composer in spat with musicians' association

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Veteran composer Dang Huu Phuc and Vietnam's Composers' Association are engaged in a dispute over the exclusion of the former's work from the 2009 Music Prize competition.

Phuc sent a symphony named Pizzicato Vietnam to the association for the competition several months ago. Pizzicato is a playing technique that instructs players of stringed instruments to pluck the strings instead of using the bow.

The association ruled the symphony out at start of the contest without a real explanation.

Do Hong Quan, chairman of the association and head of the judges, only said, "Some works are very difficult to play."

The association then granted prizes for some other works on January 8.

Phuc did not accept the explanation, saying it was not reason enough to exclude his work from the competition.

He said incompetent orchestras may not be able to play his symphony but good ones could play it very well.

"My symphony was performed successfully by artists of the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra and Japanese conductor Tetsuji Honna at the Hanoi Opera House last May," he said.

Quan countered that the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra's artists had struggled to play Phuc's composition.

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