The renowned Berliner Symphoniker, led by conductor Lior Shambadal, makes its debut at the Hanoi Opera House on July 14, marking the first time a full-scale orchestra from the West will perform in Vietnam at the invitation of a non-State entity.

Established in 1966, the 67-member Berliner Symphoniker is one of the five leading symphony orchestras in Berlin and tours regularly around the world. The orchestra is also famed for its educational programmes, which include workshops, teaching, and concerts for families and the elderly.

They also perform regularly with choirs in Berlin and abroad under the baton of Israeli conductor Shambadal. Shambadal, a prominent composer in various fields, from chamber music to symphonic works, has been principal conductor of the Berliner Symphoniker since 2007. He has previously worked with the Vietnam National Academy of Music's orchestra and made the effort to bring his orchestra to perform in Vietnam .

While here, Shambadal will lead concerts with different programmes arranged in co-ordination with the local organisers, like production director Anh Tuan and musical director Bui Cong Duy.

"The organisers know exactly what musicians need and what is the best to make a programme successful," said Shambadal.

"The programmes are designed with different repertoires for Vietnamese audiences," said Duy. "It is exceptional when a major orchestra agrees to change its performing repertoire."

"In Japan , we performed 14 concerts with five programmes only," said Shambadal. "Here we will have three programmes for three concerts."

Performances take place at 8pm on July 14 and 3pm and 8pm on July 15 at the Hanoi Opera House. Entitled Eternal Melodies, the concerts will include performances of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2, Dvorak's Slavic Dances No 2 and 8, the Roses from the South waltz by Johann Strauss, and Glinka's Russland and Ludmila Overture.

Duy will also be featured with Mendelsohn's Violin Concerto at the 3pm concert on July 15.

"This piece I have played many times with different orchestras," said Duy. "I spend time practising carefully so I'm eager to perform with the orchestra on stage."

Duy has won first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Music Competition in Russia and now teaches at the Vietnam National Academy of Music. He has performed as a soloist in Italy, Germany, Russia, Japan and France.

Pianist Kun Woo Paik from the Republic of Korea will be featured soloist at the two evening concerts. Kun is a graduate of New York 's Juilliard School and has performed at Lincoln Centre and Carnergie Hall.

"This is my first time in Vietnam , so I'm excited to get new experience," said Kun. "I hope to meet Vietnamese audiences. We speak a musical language, so there are no obstacles."

Tickets range from 800,000 VND to 3,000,000 VND. The concerts are sponsored by Mobifone, Vietnam Airlines, Vingroup, Techcombank and Hotel De L'Opera.-VNA