| Three young students studying at Hue Music Academy receiving Tran Van Khe scholarships: Photo: Nguyen A
Tran Van Khe scholarships and awards have just been given for the very first time at the end of last July in Ho Chi Minh City to excellent researchers, students, and ethnic music performers.
Receiving the information that they would be awarded this prestigious scholarship, all three young people studying at Hue Music Academy couldn’t help being surprised and emotional. All three young students are studying traditional musical instruments, including: Huynh Tue Lam – dan tranh (Vietnamese zither), Vo Thi Huong Giang – dan tranh, and Phan Duy Khanh – moon lute.
At the awarding ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh City, similar to many other artists and students, all three young people coming from Hue Ancient Capital, a huge cultural hub of the country, were considered as the examples to energize the journey of contributing wisdom and talent to preserve and promote Vietnamese ethnic traditional art values.
Coming back from Ho Chi Minh City after receiving the scholarship, the freshman Phan Duy Khanh was still emotional when he shared that he was so lucky to win the prestigious scholarship awarded for the first time. According to Khanh, he knew the scholarship through various sources of information and tried to apply without carrying any hope to reach it. “I burst out on the day receiving the announcement that I was chosen to receive the scholarship”, shared Khanh.
According to Khanh, in terms of scholarship’s criteria, the applicants need to have achievements from academic grades to performances. Therefore, thanks to the excellent achievements from the high scores to the rich experiences of participating various talent contests and performances, Khanh was shortlisted and selected by the organizing committee to give the scholarship.
With Khanh, pursuing the subject of playing Moon lute is not a simple thing. Khanh shared that nowadays, the youngsters’ passion for traditional musical instruments is not too much, it switches to popular and eventful music instead. “Just the ones who really have passion, who really want to learn and preserve traditional music can choose this major like me,” Khanh shared and believed that the scholarship not only brings material values but it also goes beyond as the spiritual motivation in the journey to pursue passion.
Similar to Khanh, with Vo Thi Lan Huong, a female student who has a passion for dan tranh, receiving this scholarship seems like a dream. Named along with the leading Vietnamese artists and masters, as well as other young people “being on the same path”, Huong Giang clearly felt the power of the passion and mission that she has chosen.
Standing on the stage of Ho Chi Minh Theater to receive the scholarship, Huong Giang shared: “It is not only a pride that my passion is finally recognized, but more importantly, it is a pride of the Hue traditional music in particular and the traditional music of Vietnam in general. The scholarship is a huge motivation for me to keep on pursuing this kind of music. Furthermore, it is also an inspiration to remind me to try more and more on the way of making my dream of turning to be a performing artist come true, as well as inspiring other children to pursue national music”. Not stopping there, this young girl-student also hoped that she could take traditional music further, to the world as a way that Prof. Tran Van Khe used to do.
The Tran Van Khe fund was officially launched on the occasion of 100th anniversary of Prof. Tran Van Khe’s birthday (July 24, 1921 – July 24, 2021). The fund operates on the principles of voluntary, non-profit, self-funding, self-financing, and self-responsibility before the law. Every year, the fund will award prizes and scholarships to students, the ones who have passion for traditional music, contributing to preserving and promoting traditional music values, following the will of Prof. Tran Van Khe.
Prof. Tran Van Khe is a person who has made a great contribution to bringing our traditional music to the world. He has done both direct and indirect contribution to helping many ethnic art forms to be recognized by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritages, such as Hue royal court music, ca tru (ceremonial singing), quan ho Bac Ninh, don ca tai tu Nam Bo (Southern amateur music), etc.