Pho Duc Phuong along with Tran Tien, Nguyen Cuong, and Duong Thu, is one of the big four of contemporary Vietnamese folk music (Photo: thethaovanhoa.vn)
He rose to fame with many popular songs, including “Quan Ho Girls”, “Mountain Lake”, “The Legend of Nui Coc Lake”, and “Going Back to the Homeland”.
He was the founder and former director of the Vietnam Centre for the Protection of Music Copyright, where he fought to protect the rights of Vietnamese songwriters.
Pho Duc Phuong along with Tran Tien, Nguyen Cuong, and Duong Thu, is one of the big four of contemporary Vietnamese folk music.
Phuong was born in 1944 in the northern province of Hung Yen. At the age of 18, he enrolled in the faculty of physics of the University of Pedagogy, but left school before graduation to become a farm worker in Hoa Binh province. In 1966, he returned to school to study at the Vietnam National Academy of Music (formerly, the Hanoi National Conservatory of Music).
Phuong’s music compositions became popular soon after he graduated in 1972. Inspired by the theme of the homeland, he was drawn to the genre of contemporary folk music.
In a video, Pho Duc Phuong once said the path to art must be resolute and the musician must have a sense of responsibility for his work.
“An artist must be self-confident and committed to his work. I always take responsibility for every music composition I write,” he said.
Musician Pho Duc Phuong. (Photo: vov.vn)
Phuong had a keen interest in literature, history, fine arts, and poetry. His beautiful melodies and lyrics depicting the land and daily life of the Vietnamese people, particularly in the Red River Delta helped make names for many singers, including Thanh Lam, My Linh, Trong Tan, and Tung Duong.
Diva Thanh Lam said she has a special love for Pho Duc Phuong’s music, “I really admire Pho Duc Phuong and have tried to emulate his working style. Phuong devoted his heart and soul to creating music imbued with Vietnamese values”.
Two live shows were organized in 2016 and 2019 to showcase Phuong’s best-loved songs.
“When Phuong passed away. I feel a great sense of loss having to say good bye to a great artist whose music will live forever in the hearts of music lovers,” said musician Nguyen Quang Long.