IMC Member of Honour - Obituary notice

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Professor Tran Van Khê, age 94, widely renowned Vietnamese traditional music scholar and an IMC member of honor, sadly passed away on June 24th 2015 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Born in a musical family in the southern province of Vinh Long, he learnt to play several traditional instruments. In 1949, at the age of 28, he moved to France where he resided for more than 50 years. In 1958, he received a doctoral degree in musicology from the University Paris-Sorbonne where he became a Professor, teaching Asian music from 1966 to 1988. During that time, he also travelled to several universities in 43 countries where he performed and lectured on Vietnamese traditional music.

His musicological work received international recognition which translated in the receipt of a number of international prizes and awards, including the International Music Council - UNESCO International Music Prize in 1981. He was also awarded the title of Officer in France's National Order of Arts and Letters in 1991, and won Japan’s Koizumi Fumio Prize for Ethnomusicology in 1994, and Vietnam’s first-class Labor Medal in 1999.

Since returning to Vietnam in 2006, he delivered talks and attended events on traditional music and culture even when confined to a wheelchair due to health problems in recent years.

Prof. Tran Van Khê was elected Member of Honour of the International Music Council in 1987.

He leaves behind a daughter and three sons, one of which is no other than well-known traditional music scholar Professor Tran Quang Hai.

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