The Vietnamese duo Trần Quang Hải (various traditional Vietnamese instruments) and Bạch Yến (vocals) recorded four albums between 1977 and 1983.
Trần Quang Hải (born on May 13, 1944 in Vietnam) is a renowned musician who comes from a family of five generations of musicians. He studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Saigon before moving in 1961 to France, where he studied the theory and practice of oriental music with his father Professor Dr. Trân Van Khê, at the Center of Studies for Oriental Music in Paris.
For several years, Trần Quang Hải also attended seminars on ethnomusicology at the School of High Studies for Social Sciences, and received Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees. Since 1966, he has given over 3,000 concerts in 70 countries, and has taken part in approximately one hundred and thirty international traditional music festivals, as well as in radio and television broadcasts in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia. He has been working for the National Center for Scientific Research in France since 1968, and is now attached to the Department of Ethnomusicology of the Musee de l'Homme. Also, from 1988 to 1995 he was a Lecturer on Southeast Asian music at the University of Paris X-Nanterre. He has been a guest lecturer of over one hundred Universities in the world.
Apart from his artistic activities, he is also interested in musical research. He has improved the technique of spoon playing and of the Jew's harp. In 1970, he found by himself the key to the technique of overtone singing and has become a world famous expert of this peculiar split-tone singing khoomei well known in Tuva and Mongolia. During 1990 and 1991, he won four awards at the International Scientific Film Festivals in Estonia, France and Canada for his film "Le Chant des Harmoniques" (The Song of Harmonics) directed by Hugo Zemp. He is the co-author, actor and music composer of this film. He has written numerous articles on Vietnamese and Asian music (New Grove Dictionary, Encyclopedia Universalis), and has also recorded 15 LPs 8 CDs, 4 video films, and 4 DVD. He composed more than four hundred pop songs, and musical pieces for 16 stringed zither dan tranh, monochord dan dôc huyên, Jew's harp and overtone singing.
As a distinguished figure in his musical field, Tran Quang Hai has garnered more than 20 prizes and international awards. He has received a Gold Medal for music from the Asian Cultural Academy, and honorary doctorates from the International University Foundation and the Albert Einstein International Academy. He works with his wife, Bach Yen who is a great Vietnamese pop and folk singer. Additionally, he was nominated President of the Jury of the Khoomei Throat Singing Festival in Kyzyl (Tuva) in 1995. He obtained the Cristal Medal of the National Center for Scientific Research in France in 1996, the Medal of Honor of the Limeil Brevannes city in France in 1998, and the Special Prize of the Jew's Harp World Festival in Molln (Austria) in 1998.. In addition, he was the Honorary President of the Festival d'Auch "Eclats des Voix" in France in 1999, and of the Voice Music Festival of Perouges "Au Fil de la Voix" in France in 2000. His biography has been published in 30 Who's Who reference books since 1979. . In 2002, he was given the title Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in France.
He participated in the Jew’s Harp Festival in Molln (in 1998 and 2000), in Norway (in 2002) and in Amsterdam. He is the founding member of the International Jew’s Harp Society . In 2005, he was elected as member of the Executive Board of the ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music).
To date, Dr. Tran Quang Hai is the only Vietnamese to have taken part as a performer or composer in such historical events as Australia's Bicentenary celebration in 1988, the Bicentenary of the French Revolution in Paris in 1989, the 700th Anniversary of the Discovery of America in 1992, 600 Years of Seoul-Korea in 1994, the Jubilee of the King of Thailand in 1996, 1,000 Years of Trondheim in Norway in 1997, the 100th Anniversary of the Phonogramm Archiv of Berlin in Germany in 2000, and the Centenary of Independence of Norway in 2005.
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