ACC remembers 2000, 2011 grantee Vu Nhat Tan (1970-2020), who passed away from cancer on July 21 in Hanoi. Tan was a passionate and dedicated composer who worked throughout his career to bring new ideas to the venerable Vietnam National Academy of Music, formerly Hanoi Conservatory of Music (HCM). The only HCM graduate to be teaching in the relatively new composition department, Tan brought innovative change to a conservative institution from within, and impacted generations of students.

During his 2000 ACC Fellowship in the U.S., Tan greatly benefitted from mentorship by composer Chinary Ung (ACC 1970-2013) and former ACC Director Ralph Samuelson. It was a joy to be part of his journey, and watch this quiet, shy individual take artistic risks and grow in confidence. I have been lucky enough to see Tan over the years in Hanoi—as recently as last November to discuss getting him involved in ACC’s Taiwan Southeast Asia Program, supporting exchange between Taiwan and Vietnam. He leaves behind a young son.

At ACC, we are so privileged to come to know and work with so many bright lights who live in the land of ideas and work for change in their communities. Tan’s passing is a great loss to the contemporary music world in Vietnam. May we continue to serve and honor his legacy by encouraging and supporting more young composers like him in the future.

Cecily Cook
Director of Programs
Asian Cultural Council