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Join date : 2011-03-15

PostSubject: h her daughter, Tran Thu Ha, who graduated w   Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:53 pm

She spent the next three months being fully indoctrinated at a re-education camp. She later gave birth to a son while living in the bush, just six months after losing her husband to a bout with tuberculosis. "It was very difficult," she said, her eyes staring at the floor of her upscale lakeside apartment. "I don't want to remember this time." It was also the only period in her life when she was separated from the piano. She was forced to wait until 1954 before she could again find comfort playing Chopin. She was sent to Beijing to record revolutionary music, lullabies and folk songs. "When I first saw a piano again, I was very happy," she said. "I played all night." Madame Lien returned to Vietnam determined to start a proper music school in Hanoi. She married a passionate poet, and they had Son before enduring the start of another long war, this time with the Americans. They moved the entire school to the countryside - including all the upright pianos twice. In 1980, just five years after the Vietnam War ended with north and south reunified by the Communists, Madame Lien traveled to Warsaw alongside 22-year-old Son to translate for him during an international Chopin piano competition.

Son said it was remarkable that the regime ever allowed him to study in Moscow after being discovered in the village by a visiting Soviet piano teacher. After all, his father had become an anti-communist dissident unpopular with Hanoi's leaders. But not even Vietnam's extreme distrust of the West could stop Son from becoming the first Asian to win the prestigious contest in Poland. The results were shocking to many at the time, but Son's career path was set. And his mother has remained by his side - the two have only been separated for a brief period. Son, now 53, remains Vietnam's only international artist, performing concerts globally with world-renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma. He is now recognized as one of the world's great Chopin interpreters. In Vietnam, Son is more like a rock star. Young people born a generation after the war know his face and his music. They approach him on the street and shake his hand or pose with him while friends snap photos on mobile phones.

Madame Lien spends about half the year in Montreal, Canada, where she lives with Son and can speak her native French. The rest of the time she's in Hanoi with her daughter, Tran Thu Ha, who graduated with a doctorate from Moscow's Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and later took over as head of Vietnam's National Academy of Music. Her other son, Tran Thanh Binh, the cellist who also lives in the capital, went on to become one of the country's most sought-after architects. He designed the new 800-seat concert hall in his mother's honor. It's expected to open sometime this fall. The matriarch performed her last solo concert just five years ago - when she was 87 - inside Hanoi's elegant French colonial opera house. And her legacy lives on, with about 1,800 students now enrolled at the music school where some 200 lecturers teach. Even today, as her tiny wrinkled fingers dance gracefully over the keys of the grand piano, the room is filled with the beautiful sound she's creating - her version of a Chopin etude, born from a long life touched by war and great peace. And she's not finished yet. Her 6-year-old granddaughter is her newest student.
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