HÀ NỘI — Popular musician Hồng Đăng died on Monday morning at Hữu Nghị Hospital. He was 86.
His wife said the musician was ill from the beginning of March and brought to hospital where he suffered several heart attacks.
Hồng Đăng was born in Yên Thành District, the central province of Nghệ An, and was talented in music from a young age. At 9-10 years old, he read books on music in French, and wrote his first song at the age of 12.
He later went to Hà Nội to study as part of the first generation at the Việt Nam National Academy of Music and became a lecturer there.
He also wrote a book about orchestra instruments for students studying arrangement and composing.
He was former Deputy General Secretary of Việt Nam Musicians Association and Editor-in-Chief of The World of Music magazine.
During his career, he wrote 700 works, including songs, symphonies, choruses and scores for the theatre.
His most famous works are the songs Hoa Sữa (Milkwood Pine Flower); Biển Hát Chiều Nay (Sea Sings in The Afternoon), and Kỷ Niệm Thành Phố Tuổi Thơ (Memories of Childhood City).
The song Hoa Sữa served as the main soundtrack for the movie Hà Nội Mùa Chim Làm Tổ (Nesting Season in Hà Nội) in 1978.
The musician was with the movie crew for several months, but the score was not composed until he returned home and looked at a line of trees in front of his house and was inspired to write the song.
In the beginning, it was popular with Hà Nội students, and 10 years later, it was a hit thanks to the performance of HCM City-based singer Nhã Phương.
Hoa Sữa is among the most popular songs about Hà Nội.
But his favourite song was Biển Hát Chiều Nay, which he composed for a documentary about the navy. The beauty of Vietnamese seas and islands inspired him to write the song in just 20 minutes.
He wrote Kỷ Niệm Thành Phố Tuổi Thơ for young men leaving their beloved city and joining the army to protect the country’s border in the 1970s.
Hồng Đăng was awarded the State Prize for Literature and Arts in 2001.
Last year, he won Grand Prize at the annual Bùi Xuân Phái Awards for the song Hoa Sữa and Kỷ Niệm Thành Phố Tuổi Thơ. The award aims to honour the contributions of individuals and organisations to Hà Nội and their love for the capital. — VNS