Composer Trong Bang who instills national identity into music

(VOVWORLD) - People’s Artist Trong Bang, a former Chairman of the Vietnam Musicians Association, and the composer of many well-known revolutionary songs and other music, has passed away at the age of 91. Trong Bang was also a music teacher who trained generations of artists to play Vietnamese music imbued with national identity.

Composer Trong Bang who instills national identity into music - ảnh 1People’s Artist Trong Bang.  (Photo: Photographer Nguyen Dinh Toan)

People’s Artist Trong Bang was the first conductor to lead symphony concerts in Ho Chi Minh City after national reunification in April, 1975. On June 1, 1975, the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Trong Bang, performed Symphony No.5 to celebrate the liberation of the South and national reunification.

Emeritus artist Doan Nguyen said Trong Bang was a remarkable conductor who had memorized 600 pieces of classical music.

“Trong Bang was a talented artist who conducted the world’s most renowned classical pieces as well as pieces he composed himself. Among the many pieces he wrote are 'Vu Khuc', a duet for cello and piano, the overture Welcome, and the symphony 'Returning Uncle Ho Brings Happy Days'. The versatile artist also wrote many plays, features, and documentaries.”

Born in 1931 in the northern province of Cao Bang, Trong Bang served as Director of the Hanoi Conservatory of Music, Secretary General of the Vietnam Musicians Association, and Deputy of the 10th National Assembly.

He embarked on his music career while he was still a high-school student during the war. After graduating from the University of Pedagogy of Literature during the anti-French war, he was sent to the Central Laos Front and then to the Viet Bac Region to direct the Central People's Conservatory of Music (now known as the Vietnam National Music, Song and Dance Theatre).

In 1963, he became the first Vietnamese to graduate with a red degree from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in the Soviet Union. Returning home, he worked as a lecturer at the Vietnam School of Music and as a conductor of symphony orchestras in Hanoi.

Composer Trong Bang who instills national identity into music - ảnh 2Musician Trong Bang conducts an orchestra in 2009. (Photo: Nguyen Dinh Toan)

Trong Bang conducted the Moscow and Tasken symphony orchestras during Vietnamese Cultural Days in the former Soviet Union in 1985 and the Electone Orchestra in Tokyo in 1995. Many internationally acclaimed musicians from France, Switzerland, Austria, and the United States have performed with the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra under his baton.

Trong Bang wrote many famous songs that honor the heroic years of the nation. These include “Love of the Motherland”, “The Song of the People's Public Security Soldiers”, and “Roaring Cannons”.

“When I was young, I listened to many songs written by Trong Bang, including 'The sound of the drill' which is about a miner with a cheerful and dedicated spirit. When I became a student at the Hanoi Conservatory of Music, I sang many songs by Trong Bang, such as 'A storm is brewing', and 'Endless love song'. Those are romantic songs which have been covered by many artists,” Emeritus Artist Hoang Tung said.

People’s Artist Quoc Hung, Head of the Vocal Department of the Vietnam National Academy of Music, said, “I love the beautiful melodies of the songs written by Trong Bang. I’m most impressed by 'Endless love song' which Bang wrote in memory of his close friend, musician Hoang Viet.”

Trong Bang was an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher. With his great knowledge and experience he trained generations of artists, many of whom became successful in their own music career.

“He taught us a lot of things, from the basic chords to producing classical chamber music,” said composer Doan Nguyen.

People's Artist Trong Bang was awarded the Third Class Independence Order by the State in 2013. In 2017, he was honored with the Ho Chi Minh Prize for Literature and Art by the State for a series of his works.