Australian Vietnamese pianist: “I love Dan bau” Posted: Aug 17,2006
Pianist Van Anh.
Van Anh has studied at the Sydney Music Institute since she was four, and obtained an Associate Diploma at nine. But in her heart the sound of Dan bau is lovely.
Van Anh has performed in many countries around the world. She has won awards at many music festivals or competitions such as Vienna International Pianists Summer Festival, Awards for Young Pianist, etc. Recently together with David Shi, Van Anh won the Irene-Hope Gibson 2 Piano Award. Van Anh arrived in Vietnam to attend the Fall Melody 2006 Programme in Ho Chi Minh City, and she spared some time to talk to the press. Could you tell us more about the award you won recently? The Irene-Hope Gibson 2 Piano Award is a competition for works written for performance by two pianos. The Award has been held annually commemorate legendary pianist Irene-Hope Gibson. You won the award with David Shi, who is he? David Shi has been my close friend since I was 11. He has attended in many music competitions with me. We often play piano together. In the recent competition the judges praised us for our tightness in our playing. You know, It was wonderful to be praised like that. David Shi and I were really happy. Some people on the panel also asked us to play more for two pianos in future performances. You have won many awards, so what did you do in preparation for competitions? Obviously I have to practice a lot. Besides choosing a piece suitable for me, I also have to think about whether judges would like it or not. Do you play any other music instrument? I play violin cell and have a little knowledge of Dan bau (a traditional instrument from Vietnam). This is something I am really proud of. Before, whenever my mother and I came here, my mother sent me to learn how to play piano with Mr Nguyen Thao. I really love playing the Dan bau as the sound it produces is beautiful. Would you perform any Dan bau pieces at the Fall Melody 2006 Programme? No. I don’t feel that confident yet. In this performance I will play the first chapter of Piano Concerto No 2 Op.102 of Shostakovich. I will have to spend a lot of time to practice with the orchestra to play well in the performance. What do you think about the skills of other Vietnamese musicians? I am very happy that international artists and professors often rate skills of Vietnamese music artists highly.