Nguyen Bao Anh - AYO: A Revolution in Musical Training in Asia (Part I)

AYO member: 1992 ~ 1994 Principal Bassoon, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, South Korea: 2005 to 2010 Present: Director of the Hong Kong Bassoon Academy and Bauhinia Musik Haus (Hong Kong), Bassoon Faculty at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Imagine a very young music student from a place which is completely shut out from the rest of the world. No information at all about culture outside of the country. Conditions of studying where all of his sheet music sheet is copied by hand. He has to memorize most of the study pieces in the daytime so that he can practice at night, again in the dark because there is no electricity most of the time.

Unexpectedly there was the AYO audition. The young man took the chance and a few months later he found himself in the spot light at almost all of the main concert Halls and Culture Centers in Asia, playing on his crippled instrument that would play only half of the notes and range its supposed to.

This is just one little memory of how far and how deep AYO has touched the soul of young music students in Asia. Now today the organization has survived over quarter of a century with its core idea of giving chance to young musicians in Asia. Thanks to the noble works of the Founder, Mr. Pontzious and AYO sponsors, AYO is even bigger today. This is my story!

I am Nguyen Bao Anh, a Bassoonist from Vietnam (an AYOer in 1992-1993-1994). I was very lucky to be one of the first students to come out from Vietnam 25 years ago. It was a completely different world I grew up in. It was a very, very dark and depressing era of my country where no one could be certain about the future. I was a full time Music student at the Hanoi Conservatory of Music. We had no direction, no hope for further music education. For decades our teachers were trained in communist Eastern Europe countries, and also where all of our best hard working students aiming and hoping for higher music education. As what had happened, that part of the world was fallen apart, we all got abandon from opportunity for further music education, all our hope was dashed. ..........To Be Continued........

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