On June 19, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee decided to honor Master of Vietnamese traditional music Professor Tran Van Khe for his dedication to promoting the southern folk music genre “Đờn ca tài tử” to the world.
The professor will be awarded the HCMC insignia and a VND30 million (US$1,442) reward. Khe’s son, professor Tran Quang Hai, will also receive merit and a VND20 million award from the committee for his contribution to bringing the genre to international friends.
Khe and Hai have been awarded many distinctions and prizes from prestigious universities, academies and international institutions.
They can play many Vietnamese instruments: “đàn kìm” or “đàn nguyệt” (moon-shaped lute), “đàn tranh” (sixteen stringed zither), “đàn cò” or “đàn nhị” (two-stringed fiddle), “đàn tỳ bà” (pear-shaped, four stringed lute) and the “trống nhạc” (ceremonial drum).
Having lived in Paris for decades and traveled around the world to lecture and perform, they have played a key role in introducing Vietnamese and Asian music to the western world, and have also taught several thousand students all over the world.