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Southwest Chamber Music
Ascending Dragon Music Festival
Southwest Chamber Music has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the United States Department of State – Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for Emerging Cultural Leaders: Ascending Dragon Cultural Exchange Program. The grant is intended to support international exchanges in order to increase mutual understanding and build relationships, through individuals and organizations, between the people of the United States and their counterparts in other countries. The Emerging Cultural Leaders program will provide opportunities for aspiring artists and their mentors/teachers in the United States to participate in two-way exchanges, each three weeks in duration.

The highly competitive grant is part of a $10 million Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriation Act, 2008, signed into law by President George W. Bush. Congressman Adam B. Schiff of California’s 29th District recommended Southwest Chamber Music for inclusion in this appropriation. Gifts to Southwest Chamber Music from individuals, government agencies and foundations will provide an additional $250,000 in cost sharing match for the remainder of the project budget.
Activities will include:
The Ascending Dragon Festival, the first international music festival between the United States and Vietnam, in 2010;

• Performances in both countries of repertory including newly commissioned Vietnamese and American compositions;

• Arts management and leadership skill building workshops for administrators, featuring principles of Peter F. Drucker, the “father of modern management;”

• A broad range of cultural activities in both countries that will include participant visits to national parks, UNESCO world heritage sites, nature preserves, jazz clubs in the U.S., and traditional music performances in Vietnam;
In Vietnam during a three-week period in Spring 2010,
19 Americans will participate in:
• The Ascending Dragon Festival, part of the Hanoi 1000th anniversary celebration, performed by Southwest Chamber Music and Vietnamese musicians;

• Cultural Exchange activities with students, administrators, and faculty at the Vietnam National Academy and Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory through master classes, open rehearsals, side-by-side performances and special workshops;
FESTIVAL IN california
In California during a three-week period in late Spring 2010,
19 Vietnamese will participate in:
• The Ascending Dragon Festival performed by Southwest Chamber Music and Vietnamese musicians;

• Cultural Exchange activities with composers, administrators and musicians from Vietnam in side-by-side performances, community outreach, and educational activities.
The Ascending Dragon Cultural Exchange Program objectives include:
• Creating exchange and exposure opportunity for students, musicians, composers and administrators in Vietnam and America;

• Providing new cultural exchange between Southwest Chamber Music, the Vietnam National Academy of Music in Hanoi and the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory;

• Identifying and encouraging a new generation of emerging cultural leaders in Vietnam;

• Commissioning and performing new works by Vietnamese and American composers;

• Increasing Vietnamese institutional capacity through study of “best practices” in arts administration in the United States;

• Enhancing the music curriculum in Vietnam through exposure to contemporary American composers and musical ideas, while creating first-time exposure experiences for Americans in Vietnam;

• Providing Cultural Exchange activities that partner administrators, musicians and composers in both countries to encourage the continuation of the exchange festival in subsequent years; performances of American music in Hanoi, and Vietnamese music in Los Angeles; and follow-up activities that will encourage new work and increased musical activity.
Dates and venues for the festival, composer commissions, repertory selection and participants will be announced at a later date.
The VIETNAM NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC (VNAM) is the premier music institution in Vietnam. Founded in 1956, VNAM has over 1500 students in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. The majority of its 200-plus teachers are graduates from overseas conservatories. The institution has trained over 7,500 students. The Academy also stages numerous concerts throughout the year in the Concert Hall. It participates in many exchange programs with conservatories abroad, sending its musical ensembles overseas to perform and teach and, in turn, hosting performances and teaching visits by many internationally-acclaimed orchestras and soloists. In addition to teaching, the VNAM is the home of the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra, which regularly performs at the Hanoi Opera House.
The HO CHI MINH CITY CONSERVATORY is the center for music education in the southern region of Vietnam. It provides music education in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. The Conservatory has over 100 teachers, including many famous musicians, composers and researchers, and experienced pedagogues graduated mostly from European conservatories. Apart from its education programs, the Conservatory is the home of the Ho Chi Minh City Symphony Orchestra.
Grammy Award-winning SOUTHWEST CHAMBER MUSIC is Southern California’s premier chamber music organization. Founded in 1987, the ensemble performs year-round at venues throughout Los Angeles County, including the Norton Simon Museum and Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, the Colburn School for Performing Arts in Los Angeles, and an acclaimed Summer Festival at The Huntington in San Marino. Nationally lauded educational programs include a weekly Mentorship Program, Project Muse in-school concerts, and Music Unwrapped Free Family Series. Southwest Chamber Music has recorded 25 compact discs and received two Grammy Awards and six Grammy nominations, including “Best Classical Album.” The ensemble has performed at the Library of Congress and the Getty Center, and also in New York, Vienna, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Cambodia and Vietnam.
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