Hanoi’s legendary songwriter passes away

By Ha Thu   December 8, 2021 | 02:27 am PT
Senior musician Phu Quang, 72, passed away in Hanoi Wednesday morning, after battling diabetes complications for nearly two years.

Trinh Anh Thu, Quang’s wife confirmed the news, saying the musician had been seriously ill since mid-2020. He had been on a ventilator and stayed within a sterile room.

Born in 1949 in northern Phu Tho Province, Phu Quang wrote over 600 songs, most of which were about Hanoi. Many poems became famous after Quang made them into songs, including "Em Oi, Ha Noi Pho (poem by Phan Vu), and "Hanoi Ngay Tro Ve" (Hanoi The Day I Return - poem by Thanh Tung).

The musician once said he only wrote music when his heart was really touched. His works are rich in emotion, with a solid musical basis.

His daughter, pianist artist Trinh Huong, said before he died, Quang was weak and got fed through a tube, though he still recognized relatives.

Before his hospitalization, although his health was not good and he was sometimes absent-minded, he still worked hard and remembered his musical works.

Musician Phu Quang in Hanoi in 2015. Photo by Quy Doan

Musician Phu Quang in Hanoi in 2015. Photo by Quy Doan

In the past few years, Quang’s health had deteriorated. He was mainly taken care of by his wife. The first daughter - Trinh Huong and son-in-law - violinist Bui Cong Duy, often visited him.

Many artists have been shocked by Quang’s death.

Singer Tan Minh said: "His passing is a huge loss to me. I am happy and grateful that this life has allowed me to meet him so that I can thrive with music. I want to thank him for trusting me almost completely."

Minh was first invited by Quang to participate in a program in 1993. Since then, the two had worked together on many projects. In 2013, Minh released "Vol. 3 Phu Quang Love Songs", receiving much public praise.

Every year, Quang regularly organized two concerts in spring and winter, attracting a large audience. He yearned to make a program about Kham Thien Street - where he lived during his childhood and experienced the loss of life during the war in 1972.

He also wanted to release a new book, recording memorable stories of his life, similar to "Chuyen Binh Thuong va Nhung Manh Hoi Uc Chot Hien" (Ordinary Story and Fragments of Flashing Memories), released in 2016.

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