There is absolutely no doubt that Polish composer Frederick Chopin is the emperor of piano music, and HBSO are presenting two concerts of his music on 19 and 20 November in the Saigon Opera House.

Guest artists will be two visiting Poles and a young Vietnamese pianist who, though born in Hanoi, now lives in Poland.

The concert “A night of Frederic Chopin” on 19 November will present the First and Second piano concerto of Chopin, that are very famous worldwide. These concertos will be accompanied by the Ho Chi Minh City Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Wojciech Czepiel.

The “Recital Piano” on 20 November includes Chopin’s piano works, which are loved for decades: Valses, Nocturnes, Polonaises, Preludes, and some solo piano pieces of Xavier Montsalvatge, Wojciech Czepiel and Domenico Scarlatti. 

Both of two concerts will have the participation of the famous Pole pianist Joanna Marcinkwska and young talent pianist Nguyen Viet Trung.

Czepiel has had a very varied career, both as a conductor and as a composer. Much of his work has been centred on the southern Polish city of Krakow, but he has conducted concerts all over Europe.

Of the two piano soloists, Joanna Marcinkwska will play the first selection of solo pieces, and also the First Piano Concerto. She is one of the most Polish pianist with 21 international prize and some noticeable prize including: the 1st prize at the International Piano Competition “Artur Rubinstein In Memoriam” in Bydgoszcz (1996);  the 1st prize at the 7th European Chopin Competition in Darmstadt (2002); the 2nd prize and a special award for the best performance of pieces by Szymanowski at the 5th International Karol Szymanowski Competition in Łódź (2001);  the 3rd prize at the 5th International Piano Competition in Cologne, Germany (2001).

She has performed in the television program  on the 187th anniversary of F. Chopin. Joanna Marcinkowska has recorded compositions by W. A. Mozart, J. Haydn, R. Schumann, F. Chopin, I. J. Paderewski, P. Czajkowski, C. Debussy and K. Szymanowski.

Hanoi-born Nguyen Viet Trung will play after the.intermission in both concerts, including the Second Piano Concerto.

He lives in Poland since childhood and achieve remarkable successes: Victory at the 17th National Piano Festival “Chopin Interpretations of the Young” in Konin-Żychlin (2021), 5th prize at the Polish National Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2020), Grand Prix at the International Chamber Music Competition in Vietnam (2019) and 3rd prize at the Karlovac International Piano Competition in Croatia (2019) …

He is continuing his postgraduate studies under prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. Nguyen Viet Trung has also participated in  the master class of the famous Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son.
Chopin wrote comparatively little orchestral music, so to hear his two piano concertos performed on the same evening will be a rare delight.

Chopin’s music generally is sometimes considered feminine in character, but more often these days as strongly original music in the Romantic tradition.

He only lived to 37 years of age, spending much time in Paris where he developed the concept of “salon” rather than concert performances. He preferred the intimacy of the former to the theatricality of the latter.

Many stories have been told, in film and elsewhere, of Chopin’s love life, including a rarely happy relationship with George Sand (a woman, not a man).

But. his music is everywhere intimate and introspective, and his reputation has increased as the decades pass.

These two concerts are the two faces of the same coin. It would be a pity to attend one and not the other.

These events are being staged with the cooperation of the Mickiewicz Institute and Warsaw Music Foundation, Poland.

Ticket prices range from 750,000 VND to 400 000 VND, with a concession of 80,000 VND for students.Both events begin at 8pm.

Created by Bradley Winterton.