Professor Tran Van Khe, a world-renowned expert on Vietnam’s traditional music held his 90th birthday party on Sunday at the FaiFoo Boutique Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Professor Tran Van Khe Photo: Tuoitre
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The event drew many of the city’s top artists, academics, well-known professionals and diplomats.
At the party, professor Khe amazed his guests by playing an improvisation with Vinh Bao, a respected musician, even though he hadn’t been playing for years because of arthritis.
Professor Khe’s students Hai Phuong, one of Vietnam’s best zither artists, and Van Anh, who is known abroad for her world music projects using the Vietnamese zither, also performed at the party.
Born in Vietnam in 1921, Khe spent most of his life in France where he studied and conducted hundreds of pioneering researches on Vietnamese and Asian traditional music.
He has also contributed to reviving and developing many types of the country’s folk music.
His proudest achievement, the professor said, was reviving the ca tru (an ancient genre of chamber music originating from northern Vietnam) when it was nearly lost in 1976.
Khe is also a masterful performer of many traditional musical instruments, such as the zither, monochord and moon guitar.