Vietnam will become the first Asian country to host the Asian-European New Music Festival which has been held every two years since 1993.

"Vietnam was the first Asian nation to host such an international event as a result of its great efforts to develop symphony music," said the chairman of the Vietnam Composers' Association, musician Do Hong Quan.

He expressed hopes that international music festival organisations would place Vietnam on the world map of symphony music in the future.

The Vietnam Composers' Association in the cities of Hanoi and Ha Long is organising the festival, from October 8-12, with a number of international and Vietnamese musicians taking part.

The unions of composers of Russia and Tatarstan have initiated the launching of the festival, which has served as a venue for the outstanding works of, and for the sharing of professional experiences among, composers and performing artists.

On this occasion, musicians and artists can acquire the quintessence of new music, promote their respective nation's contemporary music and make contributions towards enhancing the partnership, co-operation and cultural development of Vietnam and other Asian and European countries in the field of music, said Quan, who also heads the festival's organisation board.

About 200 artists from 30 countries and territories have registered to send their works to the festival. Vietnamese musicians who will attend the festival include world-renowned composers such as Nguyen Thien Dao, Do Hong Quan and Vu Nhat Tan.

The festival will also include a two-day seminar and training on music composition at the Vietnam Academy of Music on October 8-9.

Seven concerts will be held at the Hanoi Opera House, Vietnam Academy of Music concert hall here and Vietnam-Japan Culture Friendship Centre in Ha Long.

The Vietnam National Symphony and Orchestra will perform at the opening concert at Hanoi Opera House on October 8, with conductor Tetsuji Honna playing nine works of composers from Tatarstan, Uzbekistan, France and Norway, as well as Azerbaijan, Australia, Russia and Vietnam.

Overture Ho Chi Minh by Tatarstanian Rashid Kalimullin will start the concert and a composition for monochord and orchestra by Vietnamese musician Quan will end it.

Two concerts featuring talented Vietnamese composers and Vietnamese traditional music will serve as festival highlights on October 9 and 11.

The concert on traditional music will take place at Dau Go Cave, in the natural world heritage site of Ha Long Bay. Organisers will set up a wooden stage at the cave, which has a natural dome like that of a real theatre.

A music troupe of about 40 members will perform a repertoire of traditional music, including a duo for wind instruments and a trio for traditional percussion instruments composed by Xuan Bac based on folkloric music.

"The artists will play music by the light of candles or torches. The idea to organise a concert in a unique space such as Dau Go Cave was inspired by the interest of many musicians. Some of them will bring their families and students to the concert at the cave," said Quan at a press conference last week.-VNA