Malaysian 15-year-old pianist Tengku Ahmad Irfan is set to perform in Vietnam this week together with the Malaysian Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra will perform the central folk piece Ly Hoai Nam and “We Are One” by Datuk Mokhzani Ismail under the baton of Vietnamese conductor Tran Vuong Thach.

Irfan will perform with the orchestra pieces by S. Prokofiev and A. Drovak led by German conductor Claus Peter Flor.

The shows, organised to celebrate 40th anniversary of Malaysia - Vietnam diplomatic ties, will take place on October 31 at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House and November 3 at the Hanoi Opera House.

The orchestra will also give four free shows to children at various schools in the two cities.

Irfan started his piano training at age 7 and developed an interest in composing shortly after that. He first started composing music for piano and later branched out with chamber music and larger orchestral works.

His debut performance was at age 11, as a soloist performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto in E flat (WoO4) with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of music director Claus Peter Flor, when he improvised his own cadenzas for all three movements.

He continued to improvise his own cadenzas during subsequent performances of Mozart Piano Concerto N°8 with Claus Peter Flor and Mozart Piano Concerto No 27 with Dariusz Mikulski and the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra.

Irfan has performed at venues world-wide, including the Central Music School of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (Kuala Lumpur), Nokia Concert Hall (Estonia), The Benedict Music Tent & Harris Hall (Aspen), Merkin Concert Hall (New York), Hong Kong and Washington DC.

Irfan currently attends Juilliard Pre-College where he double majors in piano and composition under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Ira Taxin, as well as studying conducting with George Stelluto.

He is also a Teaching Artist Intern for the New York Philharmonic Composer's Bridge Programme and a high school honours student.-VNA