The first Vietnam-Japan piano festival took place in Tokyo on November 9 as part of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

At the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Doan Xuan Hung emphasised the importance of the festival in the context of the two nations’ growing ties with a series of economic, cultural and educational exchanges.

The event is a good opportunity for pianists from both countries to boost exchange, helping diversify cultural and musical activities between Vietnam and Japan , said Ambassador Hung.

The concert received thunderous applause from Japanese audiences. Nguyen Le Binh Anh, a 16-year-old pianist, studying at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, was invited by to perform with Japanese artists.

The early stages of the festival saw a performance of Mozart’s Concerto No 7, jointly delivered by a 21-year-old Japanese music talent Airi Katada and Binh Anh.

A female pianist from Japan, Ayuko Higuchi treated audiences to a medley of music from famous composers such as Mozart, Bizet and Chopin.

Ayuko also performed a series of special pieces originally derived from Vietnamese folk songs like Ly Ngua O (black horse melody), Trong Com (rice drum), and Beo Dat May Troi (floating water lily and wandering cloud).

Ayuko Higuchi is a successful pianist in Japan winning several prestigious prizes and certificates of merit from the Japanese Education Minister. She has delivered outstanding performances in many nations including the US and France and at the 2008 Vietnam Festival with the accompaniment of Japan ’s Crown Prince Naruhito.-VNA