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Talented Vietnamese, int’l guitarists gather for festival in Ho Chi Minh City

Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 10:23 GMT+7
Talented Vietnamese, int’l guitarists gather for festival in Ho Chi Minh City
Some of the well-known guitar artists participating in this year’s Saigon International Guitar Festival and Competition. Photo: Supplied

The 5th Saigon International Guitar Festival and Competition (SIGF) is going to be held at the Conservatory of Ho Chi Minh City on Nguyen Du Street, District 1 from October 31 to November 4. 

Every November since 2014, the festival has been organized in the city, slowly blending in and becoming imbedded in the city’s culture.

The event is an opportunity for the greatest talents across the country, in the region, as well as all over the world to gather and showcase their talent to the world.

This year, there will also be a classical guitar competition on a Southeast Asian scale as part of the event with participants from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

The competition is aimed at attracting contestants from countries where there is an increasing interest in classical guitars, while also encouraging young artists to showcase their flair. 

SGIF include three categories – under 18, all age groups, and non-professional. 

The non-professional is only open to Vietnamese contestants.

“After having organized the event for four years, we have built a network of those who are interested in festivals both domestic and international so attracting contestants for the competition does not pose a significant difficulty,” guitarist Nguyen Thanh Huy, head of the guitar department at the Conservatory of Ho Chi Minh City, said.

In addition to the competition, the festival consists of outstanding classical guitar performances by the most talented guitarists across the world.

The festival will open at 7:00 pm October 31, with an Italian Voices to Chaconne by the Master performance and the participation of many other artists including Lorenzo from Italy, French guitar teacher Gerard Abiton, Vietnamese artist Thu Le, and 40 young guitarists from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Can Tho. 

On the second day, the Serenade of the Festival concert will start at 8:00 pm on November 1, performed by Vietnam’s Kim Chung, Leon Koudelak from the Czech Republic, Carlo Aonzo from Italy, and Rene Izquierdo from Cuba. 

The Japan-Vietnam friendship concert will be held on November 2 at 5:00 pm.

Lastly, Romance in the Night will be performed by Italian artist Salvatore Fodera, Paul Cesarczyk from Poland, and Rene Izquierdo on the last day of the festival, November 3, at 8:00 pm. 

The festival will end with the final concert The Magic Guitar performed by Japanese artist Tomonori Arai and a solo performance from one of the most outstanding guitarists in the world, Rene Izquierdo. 

Rene Izquierdo has already won many international awards and is currently a professor in classical guitars at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, the United States.

Beside the competition and concerts, other activities within the scope of the SIGF are eight master classes for young artists, a workshop to introduce the international community to the contemporary guitar style of Tran Dinh Vu, and a presentation on symphonies with two musical instruments, the mandolin and guitar. 

Ha My / Tuoi Tre News

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