VietNamNet Bridge – Composer Ngo Hong Quang is known for his projects that combine Vietnamese traditional music and western one. He is doing a masters course in music composition at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.



Composer Ngo Hong Quang


Quang will perform a contemporary dance entitled Non (Conical Hat) with choreographer Vu Ngoc Khai in Ha Noi on July 21. The show will also be held in HCM City on July 26 and 27.

He is also carrying out a new project with musician Nguyen Le.

Quang spoke about Non and his new project.

What makes you confident to participate in a dance programme?

I met choreographer Ngoc Khai at an art show entitled Duyen Dang Viet Nam (Charming Viet Nam) in HCM City in 2014. We talked and shared many things about our careers. And Non was born. It was premiered in HCM City in 2015.

I’m very happy because we will perform Non in Ha Noi this time.

What’s new in Non for the Ha Noi show?

The year 2016’s Non will be a skillful combination of Khai’s contemporary movements and my acoustic music. I will play traditional instruments, including dan tinh (gourd lute), dan moi (Jew’s harp) and dan bau (monochord).

I will sing a complete song at the performance. I sang at the previous show too, but it was an extract. I finished the song after a year. It represents various melodies and colours of nature.

Dances by Khai will include his improvisations.

What is the Hanoi Duo project in which you and musician Nguyen Le are collaborating?

I met Nguyen Le when we performed together in Toulouse, France. I was a guest playing with his trio Saiyuki. My performance made impression on him and he sometimes invites me to perform with his trio or just himself.

Thanks to the several times we have performed together, I can see that my music style suits Nguyen Le’s fusion style. Hence, the Hanoi Duo project.

The project will provide a wide and diverse panorama of Vietnamese music, from its roots to the future. I like the idea because it focuses on creativity based on Vietnamese folk music. In addition, I will play both traditional and new pieces on Vietnamese instruments in combination with electronic music.

We have finished our recordings. Hanoi Duo is expected to be released in this autumn in Europe.

 Do you have your own project?

I’m very busy this year. I’m working on a quan ho folk music album in the Netherlands. It will be launched in Viet Nam.

What are the opportunities and challenges you are facing in the Netherlands and other European countries?

I’m enjoying life because it gives both challenges and opportunities for me to build my music career. I am grateful for the scholarship to study in the Netherlands. It has changed my thoughts about music completely.

I’m studying music composition mainly in relation to western instruments. But I also write music for a small orchestra with Vietnamese instruments. I like it because it is related to Vietnamese music.

Over the past two years, I have been studying to compose a music piece and how to access new things in music.

One of the most important benefits I have had is that I get to meet many talented artists in Europe and opportunities to learn from them.

In the initial days, I was worried about facing new situations such as the chilly winter, unfamiliar food and culture shock.

However, these challenges help me to become stronger and gain life experience to overcome difficulties.