VietNamNetBridge - After concerts with world famous musicians in the 2018 concert season,the Sun Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has gained a good reputation among audiences.What will the SSO bring to the audience the next season? The answers from the SSOMusic Director Olivier Ochanine will be a surprise.

Congratulation to the SSO’sfirst success during the past season! Our readers are eager to know more about theSSO. What are the criterias and the goals in the operation of the SSO?

In 2017, under thesponsor of the Sun Group - a leading Vietnamese company in the tourism industry- the SSO was created to bring a new standard of music making to Vietnam.

Through a rigorousinternational audition process, the SSO has recruited some of the finestmusicians from around the world as well as the best Vietnamese talent.

Not only do we aspireto be one of Asia’s Premier Orchestras, we also look to play an important rolein developing the next generation of Vietnamese musicians and audiences.Through hard work and an unwavering commitment to excellence we believe that wecan achieve all our goals.


Many people said thatlistening to classical music is like reading Shakespeare because it is hard tolisten to. How have you studied about the SSO’s audiences before planning forthe new concert season? Can you share with us some information about the SSO’snext season?

Audience building issomething that the SSO has thought very carefully about. One must be very awareof their public whose support is the lifeblood to their existence.Understanding Vietnamese cultural tastes and traditions is paramount tosuccess.

Our annual performanceplan is based on what we believe the cultural community can sustain. We try tobe all inclusive in our programming though special attention is paid toconcerts for specific audiences.

I don’t want to giveaway any surprises. You will have to wait until we officially announce our2019-2020 Concert Season.


We cannot deny the factthat many orchestras in the world are operating without profit. In the contextof the Vietnamese market, is it feasible for the SSO to get profit?

I would disagree withyou that orchestras do not generate profit. I think that is a bitshort-sighted. The residual benefits from having a bonafide,international-standard orchestra in a major city is substantial. This has beenwell documented.

I think success shouldnot only be measured in dollars and cents. There is a spiritual currency thatshould not be overlooked. Music is something that should be treated like anatural resource. It is as precious as air and water. You just can’t live withoutit.

Having lived in Vietnamfor some time now I know that this spiritual side of the country is verystrong. The Vietnamese understand that materialistic wealth is ephemeral. Forthis reason, I believe that the future of the SSO looks very bright.

You mentioned earlierthat the audition process for a musician in the SSO is so rigorous. So what’sthe recruiting criteria to become a member of the SSO?

Musicians of the SSOhave gone through a very methodical and detailed audition process. Members havealready worked for some of the major orchestras in the world and most areeducated to the graduate level at some of the world’s most competitive musicalinstitutions.

Becoming a professionalmusician is very difficult. The amount of years dedicated to perfecting themastership of their instrument is counted in decades. Besides hard work andpractice you must possess something that can’t be taught or learnt…….it iscalled talent and you must have that in order to be a musician.


How does the SSO work?Do SSO members have regular rehearsals or only gather for the main season?

An orchestra is muchlike a sports team. It gathers daily to practice and prepare for specificevents. Like athletes, individual musicians must also practice for themselves sothat they can maintain and improve their skills. The more practice, the betterone gets.

Do you enjoy workingwith Vietnamese musicians?

Vietnamese musiciansare talented and are very hardworking. Perhaps it’s the Vietnamese language,for they can hear tones and subtleties in pitch very well. They are very opento new ideas and are very flexible to interpretation. It has been a great pleasureworking with them.

How long has it beenfrom the SSO’s opening concert? Since then, how many Vietnamese or internationalclassical pieces of music/composers have been performed?

Our opening concert wasin May 2018. We have premiered works by Vietnamese composers as well asexplored many works in the classical repertoire. We have performed Pop music aswell as contemporary. There is just too many to name.

What’s your impressionon Vietnamese audience taste for classical music?

Our audience has alwaysbeen very supportive and enthusiastic and we are all grateful for this. Ibelieve that what they appreciate is our quality. You can’t explain to someonehow to like music. It is spiritual. You just need to feel it. I believe that our audience understands this.

How do you rank the SSOin comparison with other domestic orchestras?

The SSO is a veryspecial orchestra. We don’t compare ourselves to anyone. We just try to makethe best music we can for the benefit of the Vietnamese people.

Considering thecapability of the SSO’s musicians and Vietnamese audience taste, do you believethat the SSO will go beyond the border of Vietnam?

With thesupport of the Sun Group, we aspire to be an internationally recognizedorchestra of the highest level that will make Vietnam proud. That is our goal.

Can you share with usthe development strategy of the SSO in the coming time?

For the SSO to succeed,we will need to become an integral part of the community. We can’t just belooked at as some sort of entertainment. The SSO brand must go beyond that.

As an institution thatseeks to cultivate and celebrate the musical talents of Vietnam and the world,we must work hard to become part of this nation’s soul. If we maintain ourcommitment to excellence and develop the resources that we already have Isincerely believe in our future.

Thank you for yourtime!