Vietnam celebrates European culture with concerts, films

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The European Days event is bringing a collection of musical concerts, educational opportunities and a film festival to Vietnam May 8-10.

Hanoi will begin the celebration with a performance by the Melchior Ensemble, who are the four of Europe's finest young musicians: David Cohen (cello), Charles Owen (piano), Reto Bieri (clarinet), Alicja Smietana (violin). The show will take place at the Hanoi Opera House on May 8 and 9.

The Melchior Ensemble is driven by its Artistic director David Cohen, principle cello of the Philharmonia Orchestra.

The Melchior Ensemble was selected for the BBC Radio 3 young artist's Forum 1998 and subsequently played a concert in the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton and their performance was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in early 1999.

The Ensemble is a flexible enterprise (string trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, octet) that brings together the finest musical talents of Europe to create and perform a wide variety of chamber music. They have given several concerts at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Peter House Cambridge, Christchurch in London, Palais des Beaux Arts Bruxelles, Estonia, and Finland.

Performances by the Delegation of the European Union will be held in Hanoi and then at Ho Chi Minh City's Opera House on May 10.

Also on May 9, the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera in collaboration of the Dutch Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, will present a symphony concert by conductor Maestro Jan Stulen from Holland at Ho Chi Minh City Opera House.

Jan Stulen was born in 1942 in Amsterdam, where he studied conducting and piano and violin at the Music Academy. As a guest conductor, Stulen has appeared with all Dutch orchestra's as well as orchestra's in Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, Egypt, Greece , South Korea, Turkey, Denmark, Hungary and Romania.

A Jazz Concert by Polish musician Joachim Mencel will take place in Hanoi on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15. A lecturer at the Cracow Music Academy, Mencel composes chamber music and has also composed film, ballet and pantomime soundtracks.

A graduate of the Faculty of Jazz and Light Music at the Music Academy in Katowice in 1991, Mencel was the winner of Jazz Improvisation (Katowice, 1986), Jazz Pianists (Kalisz, 1989) and a finalist in the Thelonious Monks Competition in Washington (1989). Being a lecturer at the Cracow Music Academy, he composes chamber music performed by classical musicians.

On May 21, Hanoi's Beethoven lovers will be charmed with a concert by Carlos Cuesta and Vietnam National Academy of Music and the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra. Invitations can be picked up at Spanish Embassy in Hanoi.

The European Film Festival will screen 14 films from Belgium (Wallonie-Brussels), Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom. The films will be screened from May 14 to 23 in Hanoi and from May 19 to 29 in Ho Chi Minh City.

All tickets are free of charge and can be picked from May 10 for the program in Hanoi and from May 13 for the program in HCMC at Goethe Institute, Bristish Council and L'Espace in Hanoi and Goethe Institute, Bristish Council, and Dong Da cinema in HCMC.

The fourth Erasmus Mundus Roadshow will also take place in universities in Hanoi, Da Nang, Can Tho and HCMC May 7-11 in order to give students and lecturers more information on the Erasmus Mundus scholarship program.

The road show is organized by the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam and other Embassies of European Union Member States.

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