The Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra gave a special performance at Rome ’s Quirinal Palace on July 12, at the invitation of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

The event was part of the “Vietnam Year in Italy ”, which aims to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of the Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties (1973-2013).

After playing the national anthems of the two countries, 33 Vietnamese symphonists performed excerpts from works by Gioachino Rossini and Beethoven. The performance included a prominent violin solo by leading Vietnamese violinist Bui Cong Duy and a traditional Vietnamese folksong “Ly Hoai Nam ” composed by Ngo Hoang Quan.

Earlier, the orchestra’s two concerts in Venice and Florence were of great success.

Within the "Vietnam Year in Italy ", a total of nearly 100 political, diplomatic, economic, cultural, sports and tourism events are taking place throughout 2013 to introduce Vietnam as a country of peace, dynamism, integration and development.

Before the concert, Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Hoang Long met with Italian President Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta, to pass on a letter of thanks from President Truong Tan Sang to President Napolitano for sponsoring the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra concerts.

Meanwhile, at a meeting with Ambassador Long, Prime Minister Letta expressed his pleasure at the fine development of relations between Vietnam and Italy in recent years.

The Prime Minister said that Italy wants to further strengthen ties with Vietnam in all spheres, especially economics, after the two countries established their strategic partnership during a visit to Italy by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong early this year.-VNA