Traditional music prodigy wins Viet Nam's Got Talent 2015

by VietnamNews10 April 2015 Last updated at 00:00 AM - Nguyen Duc Vinh, a nine-year-old boy from the northern province of Bac Ninh, won Viet Nam's Got Talent 2015 competition on April 5 in HCM City.

The talented boy outperformed three competitors - the Chuon Chuon Giay band (drama), Bich Ngoc (singing), and twins Gia Linh and Gia Bao (dancing) - to receive a cash prize of VND500 million (US$24,000).

Vinh won the jury and audience's heart with a clip from a classic tuong (drama) piece, An Old Man Carries His Wife on His Back to a Festival.

The folk classic tells the story of a prince who uses his father's power to win the young wife of an old man. A single actor performs two characters in the piece, the old man and the young wife, with the help of a puppet.

Despite his young age, Vinh managed to give a near-flawless performance of the two characters and their two different singing voices.

During previous rounds, Vinh already established his well-rounded talent in both cheo (traditional operetta) and chau van (spiritual singing).

Comedian Hoai Linh, a member of the jury, was lavish with his praise. "I believe that Vinh isn't only talented but he has a gift from heaven," said Linh, "he performs like an actor with 15 or 20 years of experience."

"I worry about the next generation of traditional art. Now, I have to confess, I'm so happy Vinh won this year's contest, his talent was discovered and is promised to develop."

"In modern society, where internet and new forms of entertainment are everywhere, I believe Vinh will pass on a passion for traditional art to other young people," Linh said.

Vinh was first introduced to traditional music at an early age. He was born in Bac Ninh Province, the home of quan ho (love duets) and his father, a farmer, always listened to quan ho.

At the age of three, Vinh would ask his father to play the radio for him everyday so he could sing along.

Prize goes to school fee

Vinh was born to a family of farmers; everyone is supposed to be good at farming, not art. His parents, who have four children in total, are too poor to nurture Vinh's dream of learning traditional music.

The oldest daughter had to drop out of university to earn money for her younger sisters and brother.

Vinh said he will spend the prize money to help his sisters continue their studies. The rest is to be donated to help other poor students.

The competition, which began six months ago, attracted thousands of contestants from across the country.

The programme gives a chance to people of all ages to showcase their singing, dancing, and performance art talents.

Besides the compliments of famed comedian Hiai Linh, the jury included artist Thanh Loc, former model Thuy Hanh and musician Huy Tuan.


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