NHK Symphony Orchestra tour in Vietnam to commemorate the 45th year of Japan-Vietnam diplomatic relations (Ho Chi Minh City)


Wednesday, September 5, 2018 8:00p.m. (doors open at not scheduled yet)

Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon Opera House)

Tchaikovsky / "Eugene Onegin" opera op.24
Lalo / “Symphonie espagnole”, d minor op.21*
Tchaikovsky / Symphony No.4 f minor op.36

Michiyoshi Inoue, conductor
Christian Tetzlaff, violin*


I conducted the NHK Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House, Vietnam. Constructed during the French colonial period, the opera house building is 120 years old at least, though it has been renovated. The size is similar to Italian regional opera houses’, and its French style creates a somehow refined atmosphere.
Performing in Vietnam was a first for both me and the orchestra, but with the cooperation of the main tour sponsor ANA and the “Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera” (HBSO), our first concert held yesterday was a success. (I’ve had an affinity with Ho Chi Minh City because for a month in 2016, several musicians of the HBSO joined the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa as trainees when I was their Music Director.) I also noticed the logo of the Shimizu Corporation at the subway station under construction in front of the opera house. The NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) shot yesterday’s concert, so please do look forward to the broadcast in the near future. You will enjoy the NSO sounding different than usual!!
The violinist Christian Tetzlaff served as the tour soloist. His music proves he is on the highway to be great master. In both his attitude towards the music and how he has built a relationship with orchestra, he is extremely mature and youthful at the same time, so it was extremely pleasant for me to work with him! The musical result was phenomenal, because Christian’s performance never got boring in Lalo’s violin concerto entitled “Symphonie espagnole” which tends to sound prolonged. Furthermore, he touched us at times performing entirely frilly music. Having Latin motifs, the piece itself was also a perfect fit with the image of the hall!
On the other hand, acoustically speaking, Tchaikovsky’s fourth symphony is not suitable to this small-sized opera house. Its structure makes the sound travel up to the ceiling even with the acoustic shells that the HBSO kindly let us use. In such a situation, all the musicians entered deeply into the world with excessively emotional expressions by the twisted Tchaikovsky and created an atmosphere as if a Russian intelligentsia/artist admiring France since a long time ago drifted to Ho Chi Minh City after passing by Japan.
Maybe helped by the wonderful foods following the “French Cuisine” tradition they had in the hotel right next to the hall, the members of Japan’s best orchestra could bring their world class performance to people in this tropical country.
As for our encore piece, it was according to my strong request that we avoided Yuzo Toyama’s “Rhapsody for Orchestra” Japanese orchestras play abroad too often. Instead, we gave an excerpt from “Ballata Sinfonica” by Akira Ifukube from Japan, a country with a long-established agricultural culture the same as Vietnam. During the Second World War when the national anthem of Vietnam was born, Ifukube was composing this orchestra piece to commemorate his older brother who passed away young. His most famous work is the film scores for the “Godzilla” movie series, but I really hope that on the occasion of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, people in the world will know this “Ballata Sinfonica”, music strongly and firmly rooted in the land. Please give positive consideration to this idea of mine, Mr. Mansai Nomura and Ms. Ringo Sheena!! (who have been appointed to a planning team for the opening and closing ceremonies of the coming Olympic and Paralympic Games)
Tomorrow, we will perform in Hanoi, where my friend and conductor Tetsuji Honna is based in. Our concert will be held at the opera house built as miniature version of the Palais Garnier (older Paris Opera). I’m really looking forward to!!


ショスタコーヴィチの魂が疾走する! 井上道義の才気が炸裂する! これぞショスタコーヴィチの真髄!


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