Gala Charity Concert 2023

The Vietnam-UK Network welcomed 400 guests to its Drink Reception and Gala Charity Concert at the Royal College of Music on Thursday 7 September 2023. This special event was to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-UK’s diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Vietnam-UK Network. Among the audience were friends of Vietnam, members of other Embassies in London, members of the UK Parliament, representatives from Vietnam and UK’s businesses, NGOs working in Vietnam, and other Vietnam’s organisations in the UK.

His Excellency the Ambassador of Vietnam Nguyen Hoang Long, the RH Nigel Huddleston MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam Mr Mark Garnier MP, Sir Jonathan Nguyen-Van-Tam, and Mr Wayne David MP – Chair of the All Parties Parliamentary Groups for Vietnam were also among the audience attended the event. The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam Mr Mark Garnier MP addressed the audience highlighted the strategic importance and the significant development of the Vietnam-UK relations in the past 5 decades and the contribution and role of the Vietnam-UK Network in that process over the past 10 years.

The audience listened to music by Huu Phuc Dang from Vietnam, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel, Elgar, Gershwin, Bazzinni and Paganini. The evening also witnessed the world premier of Tango Etude Op.66, No.3 by the world-renown composer Nimrod Borenstein who also attended the event. The collaboration by internationally acclaimed musical talents from Vietnam – pianist Tra Nguyen, violinist Stephane Tran Ngoc and violinist Phuong Nguyen – together with international artists Shu-Wei Tseng, Tomasz Lis and others brought the concert hall to eruption and the audience to their feet. The artists were the true shining stars of the night who gave up their time to support the charitable cause of the event.

For the first time, this unique concert event also brought together three British charities which have been working to help disadvantaged children of Vietnam to raise fund – Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, Facing the World and the Saigon Children Charity. The centred attention of the event was on the formidable work by each of the charities and their journeys over the past 35 years in Vietnam. Together, the event raised just over £10,000 for the three charities (with gift aid).

This event was originated and curated over a 12 months’ period led by Vice Chair Bao Ha Pham with the support by a stellar team of volunteers who gave up their time over the weekends, during their holidays, bank holidays, early in the morning and late into the night to meticulously plan and bring the event together. All of the volunteers were holding down full-time employment and demanding roles in their day jobs. The Vietnam-UK Network and the charities were grateful for the selfless contribution as well as the skills and knowledge which the volunteers brought to this project.

This event would not have been possible had it not been for the invaluable support and trust by the sponsors who backed the project and offered the much-needed financial support. Our sincere gratitude goes to Dragon Capital, PetroVietnam, BDA Partners, Pagoda Projects, InterGreat Education Group, EUTEK, 9Pay and Capio Recuitment. Your support means a lot to this project, the charities, the disadvantaged children of Vietnam and the Vietnam-UK community here in London. The sponsors’ continued support to the Vietnam-UK Network and the Vietnam-UK relationship makes initiatives like this possible.

Chair of the Vietnam-UK Network and former UK Ambassador to Viet Nam, Mark Kent CMG, said, “This concert is an incredible way to mark the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the Network and 50 years of diplomatic relations. Not only does it highlight the culture and friendships forged between our two nations, it will showcase some tremendous talent and all in aid of three wonderful charities.”

Viet Nam Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Nguyen Hoang Long, said, “I would like to congratulate the Viet Nam-UK Network for their great effort in organizing this wonderful event. It is an excellent way to mark two significant milestones, a half century of Viet Nam-UK diplomatic relations and the 10th Anniversary of the Network. I am very proud that the Viet Nam-UK strategic partnership is at its warmest ever, in which cultural and people-to-people linkages with the support of the Viet Nam-UK Network are key components.”.