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A Night Of Mozart & Rachmaninov @ Ho Chi Minh City Opera House

One of the most admired composers and pianists of his generation, Sergei Rachmaninov was born 150 years ago. To celebrate the anniversary of his birth, The HBSO is presenting an evening of his music along with pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Born in 1873 to a musical family, Rachmaninov displayed a virtuosic grasp of the piano from a young age that he nurtured at the Moscow Conservatory. He embarked on a career in Russia that was initially filled with modest successes and bouts of depression-caused inactivity. His popularity as a conductor and soloist increased during the beginning of the 20th Century.

Amidst political turmoil, he left Russia and eventually emigrated to the United States where he devoted much of his time and creative energy to performing. After decades of extensive touring in the US and Europe, he completed Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 in 1940. His last major work, it’s representative of his later style with its shifting and particularly lush harmonies and space provided for individual instruments, including the unique inclusion of an alto saxophone as a solo instrument

Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 includes several quotations from Rachmaninoff's other works and elements of previous compositions, which allows it to summarize his entire composing career and thus a stellar way to celebrate his birthday a century and a half later.

Adding another dimension of classical music to the evening is a selection of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born in 1756, in his tragically short life, the genius composer produced more than 800 pieces that span nearly every genre of music that existed at the time. His expression of beauty through melody, rich tone and particular definition of sonic elegance continues to influence classical music today.

Beginning the evening is the overture from Cosi fan Tutte, K. 588. The two-part opera was performed only five times during Mozart’s lifetime. As social norms changed in the 19th and 20th Centuries, audiences began to see the opera’s exploration of infidelity as vulgar and inappropriate. Thus it was not until after World War II that it was routinely performed again.

The overture will be followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K 467. Completed in 1785, the string, brass, piano and woodwind performance will likely be familiar to audiences as it was used in numerous films including the popular 1967 Sweedish movie Elvira Madigan, for which the concerto is sometimes referred. It combines Mozart’s signature force and delicacy via the interplay of the piano and background symphony.

Honna Tetsuji will conduct the evening’s performances. He studied under Kazuo Yamada and Michiyoshi Inoue and served as the Permanent Conductor of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra and Music Advisor and Conductor of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra. Currently serving as the Music Director of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Honna has brought the orchestra to several highly acclaimed international concert tours, including its first tours to America’s New York Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall; its first Italian tour and its first performances at the Grand Hall of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Grand Hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia in Russia.

An incredible young talent will be on the piano, underscoring the lasting ability of the legendary composers to inspire. Le Trang Linh was born in Hanoi in 2007 and began studying piano at the age of seven at the Vietnam National Academy of Music. Currently a student at the Colburn Music Academy, she has won competitions in Japan, Italy, England, the US and Poland.

9 June 2023


Ho Chi Minh City Opera House | 07 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City