The French composer of Vietnamese descent Nguyen Thien Dao has devoted almost a year to the creation of a 60-minute work dedicated to the 1,000th anniversary of Hanoi-Thang Long.

Called “Soul of Vietnamese fatherland”, the work is comprised of 16 movements, which involve performances of a symphony orchestra and a traditional Vietnamese band, both traditional and modern-style dances, and a demonstration of Tay Son drums.

The work also includes the recitation of General Ly Thuong Kiet’s poem “Nam Quoc Son Ha” (Rivers and Mountains of the Southern nation), which is considered Vietnam’s ‘first declaration of independence’, General Tran Hung Dao’s “Hich Tuong Si” (Proclamation to the Officers), and scholar Nguyen Trai’s “Binh Ngo Dai Cao” as well as a screen displaying film clips of Vietnam’s victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu and the unification of the country in 1975.

Dao, who has been named in France’s “Le petit Larousse” and “Le Petit Robert” dictionaries, the US’s “Who’s who?” and the UK’s “Who’s who in music”, said he felt honoured to create the work depicting the heroism the nation has upheld throughout the course of building and defending the country.

Binding his life to music for more than a century, the composer has thus far created 86 works of instrumental music and won many awards from international musical competitions.

In 1983, Dao was presented with the French Fine Arts Academy’s “Andre Caplet” award and the French Government’s “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres”.

Recently, the composer has written works for major musical events held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam Musicians’ Association, such as “Tay Nguyen”, “Khoc To Nhu”, “Ba me Viet Nam”, “Phu Dong”, “Mau va Hoa”, and “My Chau-Trong Thuy”.

His “Enlightenment” concert dedicated to Buddha was performed by 500 instrumentalists and singers at the closing session of the 2008 United Nations Vesak in Vietnam.

Another of Dao’s symphonic works, called “Hon thieng song nui” (Sacred soul of rivers and mountains), will be performed at the “ Vietnam – my fatherland” musical gala to welcome the country’s first ever conference for overseas Vietnamese in Hanoi on November 21-24.

Composer Dao and 14 other overseas Vietnamese were honoured by the Vietnamese State in 2005 for their contributions to the nation./.