International and local string soloist performers of the Saigon International Guitar Festival (Source: hcmcpv.org.vn)

Ho Chi Minh City (VNA) –
The “Italian Voices to Chaconnes by the Masters” concert kicked off the annual Saigon International Guitar Festival in Ho Chi Minh City on October 31.

The concert was staged by classical guitarist Gérard Abiton of France, together with guitar duo Thu Le and Lorenzo Bernardi of Italy, the Saigon Guitar Ensemble and the Vietnam Guitar Ensemble.

The performance featured compositions by Vivaldi, Rossini, Legnani and Bach, arranged by Abiton, who has been a soloist with prestigious orchestras in France, the UK, the US and Mexico.

A total of five concerts by dozens of international and local string soloists are scheduled for the five-day festival.

On November 1, there will be a “Serenade of the Festival” with guitarists Kim Chung of Vietnam, Leon Koudelak of the Czech Republic and the duo Rene Izquierdo of the US and Carlos Aonzo of Italy, who will play works by Schubert, Merlin and Paganini.

On November 2, a friendship concert will feature young guitarists from Vietnam and Japan. 

In the fourth concert “Romance in the Night” on November 3, guitarists Salvatore Foderà of Italy and Paul Cesarczyk of the US will perform works by Regondi, Scarlatti and Amigo. Meanwhile, Cesarczyk and Izquierdo will perform The Beatles’ hits like “Fool on Hill”, “She’s Leaving Home” and “Penny Lane”.

Foderà received a master’s in music performance and a master’s in music pedagogy at the City of Basel Music Academy in Switzerland. He began performing at international music festivals when he was young.

Polish-born Cesarczyk made his New York debut at the age of 17 at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He has performed throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

The final concert of the series, “The Magic of Guitar”, will be held on November 4 and include works by Brouwer, Mangoré and Bach performed by Tamonori Arai of Japan and Rene Izquierdo, a Cuban American artist.

Arai has held recitals in Germany, Austria, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Italy, Thailand, Nepal and the Philippines. He teaches at Ueno Gakuen University and the Gendai Guitar Academy in Japan.

Izquierdo, who has won numerous international awards, is a professor of classical guitar at the Wisconsin State University in the US.

The festival includes master classes and guitar workshops hosted by international and local guest performers. A guitar contest for Southeast Asia will also take place covering an open category for under-18 candidates and a non-professional category for Vietnamese.

The venue is the HCM City Conservatory of Music on 112 Nguyen Du Street in District 1. Tickets are available at www.ticketbox.vn.-VNA