Nguyen Duc Toan- a talented Vietnamese composer

(VOVWorld) – Vietnamese artists this year mourn the death of many talented musicians and composers. Earlier this month, on October 7, 2016, Colonel composer Nguyen Duc Toan passed away leaving behind great grief and sorrow for music lovers.
Nguyen Duc Toan- a talented Vietnamese composer  - ảnh 1
Composer Nguyen Duc Toan

Military Colonel, composer, painter Nguyen Duc Toan was born in 1929 in Hanoi into a family with musical and artistic tradition. Toan’s father was a sculptor and Toan’s siblings work with music. In 1944, he studied painting in the Indochina Arts College. He joined the August Revolution in 1945 in Hanoi and then together with other artists moved to the Viet Bac resistance base to continue to participate in the struggle against the French colonialists. The life in the resistance base was really hard, especially for a painter like him. When he had no paper and no paint to draw, he acted and with his guitar, he sang with soldiers. At that time, his first song came to being.

During the anti-French war, he became famous with the songs “My home village in the midland”, “Afternoon in the rear”, and “New Rice”. After 1954, the song “Please come to visit my home village” marked a turning point in Toan’s composing career. During that, he composed a series of songs about martyrs like “Being gratitude to Sister Vo Thi Sau”, “Following Ly Tu Trong’s example”, and “Ngo May song”. During the anti-US war, Toan wrote many other songs like “Fortification”, “Driver song”, “Country loves Nguyen Viet Xuan”, “Sewing clothes for soldiers”, “Praising Tran Thi Ly”, and “Praising Nguyen Van Troi”....   

During 1968-1970, composer Nguyen Duc Toan studied at the Kiev Conservatory, Ukraine. There, he wrote musical pieces like Sonate for violin and symphony “Homeland”. When he returned home, he composed chorus songs like “Construction song”, romantic songs like “My sea love”, “Afternoon at the seaport”, “Hanoi- a warm heart”. Toan’s compositions reflect different historical periods, national renovation, and love for the homeland. Toan’s songs embrace romance, love, optimisim, and confidence in the country’s future.

Toan devoted many songs praising the beauty of Hanoi and its people. His most famous song about Hanoi is “Hanoi- a warm heart” which has won the hearts of many Hanoiains. Composer Huy Thuc is Toan’s colleague and friend:  “I have been Nguyen Duc Toan’s friend since the 60s.  We became closer because we were both military composers spending time together in the army and in composing. I’m so sad because he passed away”.

In addition to music, composer Nguyen Duc Toan also created many sculptural works using warm and poetic colors. Because Toan is a composer and a painter, his creative works are are unique. Dinh Tien Hai was a former lecturer at the Vietnam Industrial Fine Arts University:“Paintings are reflected in Toan’s songs. His songs about heroic soldiers are musical potraits of them. Most of his songs are romatic songs which combine painting and music. In his songs, many paintings were created”.

Composer Nguyen Duc Toan was presented Ho Chi Minh Award for  Arts and Literature in 2000 for his contributions to Vietnamese music. The composer left behind more than 100 music works which are highly acknowledged by Vietnamese music lovers.