Musician, researcher and teacher Nguyen Vinh Bao was born into a Confucian family in My Tra Village in Sa Dec Province’s Cao Lanh District (also known as Cao Lanh City in Dong Thap Province).
He was introduced to traditional music early and had a passion for the folk music. He can play Vietnamese traditional musical instrument of Don Kim (the moon-shaped lute) and Don Co (two-stringed fiddle) at five and other kinds at 10.
The musician reformed Dan Tranh (16-string zither) by adding the number of strings used to 17, 19 and then 21 to increase the pitch range of the instrument and improve volume range.
He was a lecturer in zither and head of the department of traditional music of Southern Vietnam at the Saigon National Music School and the Saigon Drama troupe in 1955-1964.
Musician Nguyen Vinh Bao was honored with many titles for his great contributions to preserving and developing don ca tai tu, such as Dao Tan Award in 2005, the Officier des Arts et des Lettres from the French government in 2008, the Prime Minister’s Certificate of Merit in 2014, Phan Chau Trinh Award in 2015,
In 2006, he was a rare Vietnamese musician, among six influential musicians in the world, honored at the World Ethnology Conference (Ethnomusicology) in Honolulu in the U.S.
The veteran musician’s funeral is held at the Cao Lanh City’s Retirement Club in Dong Thap Province on January 8 and cremation will take place at Quang Khanh Cemetery on January 10.