An Tran’s childhood home in Hanoi, Vietnam, overflowed with music. He still recalls the singular revelation that hit him at age 8 when his cousin began to strum the guitar.
"I thought to myself … ‘I need to try that out!’" he said in an interview with Six String Journal in March 2020.
Audiences the world over are thankful he did just that.
Tran is now an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist and winner of more than 13 international competitions and awards. He will perform a free solo concert Friday at the Fridays at First music series at First United Methodist Church, 618 Eighth St. in downtown Columbus.
Based in Chicago, An has been praised for his “gorgeous playing” and “flawless technique” by the KnoxTNToday, and received accolades for his dynamic artistry.
Crafting his signature style by merging world cultures with Vietnamese classical music, he has been invited to teach, perform and judge at various festivals including the Milwaukee Latino Arts Guitar Festival, Latin-American International Guitar Festival, New Orleans International Guitar Festival, Hamilton International Guitar Festival (Canada), and Lone Star Guitar Festival (Texas), among others.
Building on the momentum of his many successes, An collaborated with Vietnamese composers The-An Nguyen and Dang Ngoc Long for his 2020 seven-track solo album “Stay, My Beloved," which was chosen by Classical Guitar Magazine among the year’s 10 best releases.
Taking listeners on an emotional journey through the rich soundscapes of Vietnam, Tran is set to grace the stages in Germany, France and Spain on his upcoming European CD release tour.
Tran has captivated audiences throughout North America and Asia, including concerts for Bangkok Guitar Society, Toronto International Guitar Series and will be performing at the prestigious Segovia Classical Guitar Series in Chicago.
He won several International Guitar Competitions in Berlin, New Orleans, Rhode Island and the Society of American Musicians in Chicago, among many others. Gaining inspiration from the interconnectedness of music, cultures and people, Tran developed and refined his skills and techniques for over two decades and studied in masterclasses with many world-renowned guitarists, including Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, and Eliot Fisk.
He received his musical training at the Vietnam National Academy of Music studying with guitarist Vu Viet Cuong. Tran received his bachelor’s degree in music and the Distinguished Young Alumni Award from North Park University, and his master’s of music along with the Southeast Asia Studies Fellowship from Yale University.
Currently a Dorothy and Carl Johnson endowed Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at Northwestern University, studying with Anne Waller, listeners and fans believe Tran continues to transcend boundaries with his music.
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Who: Acclaimed classical guitarist An Tran as part of the Fridays at First concert series at First United Methodist Church.
Where: 618 Eighth St. in downtown Columbus.
Admission: Free (social distancing will be enforced). But donations are gratefully accepted.