The southern Vietnamese folk song “Ru con” (Lullaby) composed for guitars by Dang Ngoc Long generated a storm of applause at the recently-concluded International Guitar Contest in Berlin .

The piece of music was a compulsory contribution during the final round of performances.

Jakob Bangso from Denmark won the first prize. The 26-year-old brought the soul of the Vietnamese folk song to life, performing it with confidence in front of an international live audience.

This year’s competition had 16 competitors from 11 countries. Classical guitarist Dang Ngoc Long performed some of his folk-song-based compositions, such as “Beo dat may troi” ( Floating water-fern and wandering clouds) and “Nui rung Tay Nguyen” ( Central Highlands Mountains and Forests).

After graduating from the Hanoi Conservatory of Music in 1979, Dang Ngoc Long worked as a lecturer for the Central Highlands Literature and Art School and the Hanoi Conservatory of Music. He went to Germany in 1984 to pursue graduate and post-graduate studies at the Hanns-Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin . After graduation, he was invited to lecture at the academy.

During his time in Germany , he successfully reworked several famous Vietnamese folk songs in the style of modern European music, including “Morning Mai”, “For Thay” and “Bamboo Ber”. In 1987, with his piece “Nui rung Tay Nguyen”, Long became the first Vietnamese to win a special prize at the international “Villa Lobos” guitar competition in Hungary .

The Berlin International Guitar Contest has been held every two years since 2006 for contestants under the age of 32.-VNA