Pham Duy - Songwriters, Birthday and Family

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Pham Duy's Personal Details

Phạm Duy is a celebrated Vietnamese songwriter who is known for writing patriotic lyrics which were banned in his own country

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 5, 1921
Died onJanuary 27, 2013
NationalityAmerican
FamousSongwriters, Musicians, Lyricists & Songwriters
SpousesThai Hang
SiblingsPham Duy Khiem
Known asPhạm, Duy, Phạm Duy Cẩn, Phạm Duy
Childrens Duy Cuong, Duy Quang, Thai Hien, Thai Thao
Birth PlaceHanoi
GenderMale
FatherN
MotherNguyễn Thị Hòa
Sun SignLibra
Born inHanoi
Famous asSongwriter
Died at Age91

// Famous Songwriters

Pham Duy's photo

Who is Pham Duy?

Considered by many as one of Vietnam's most brilliant songwriters, Phạm Duy was born in Hanoi, and nurtured in the care of his eldest brother from a very young age. The youngest of five children in the household, this songwriter pursued his education in music from institutes in Vietnam and France. His songs documented the tempestuous political scenario of his homeland, Vietnam, during French occupation as well as after independence. This caused the communist regime of the country to ban his songs that mostly opposed the government. For a span of thirty years, this exceptional writer lived in exile in the United States, continuing to write songs with the same nationalist fervour. Even though his songs were restricted from being performed in Vietnam, they gained recognition in other parts of the world. When he finally returned to Vietnam, the government lifted all bans previously imposed, and the citizens of the country celebrated the songwriter's return. Despite major public recognition, there were a few who criticized Duy's decision to return. Composers Nguyễn Lưu and Tuyên in particular condemn the fact that though his songs are anti-communist in tone, his hypocrisy is forgiven by the government and media. Yet, despite being away for thirty long years, the songwriter’s death was mourned by majority in the country, owing to his brilliant lyrics that celebrated the Vietnamese nationalist sentiment.

// Famous Lyricists & Songwriters

Childhood & Early Life

Phạm Duy Cẩn was born to famous journalist Phạm Duy Tốn and his wife Nguyễn Thị Hòa, in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital city, on October 5, 1921. At the age of two, his father passed away, and his elder brother Phạm Duy Khiêm, who was a writer and Vietnam's ambassador to France, brought him up.

The young boy pursued his elementary education from the 'Thang Long High School', where he was taught by the likes of famous military general Võ Nguyên Giáp. He then continued his studies in music from the 'College of Arts' and the 'Ky Nghe Thuc Hanh Vocational College'.

Career

In 1943-44, Duy began singing as a part of the 'Duc Huy' musical group. During that decade, the French had occupied Vietnam, and the young singer joined a musical team for the nationalist organization 'Việt Minh'. Phạm and fellow musician Văn Cao wrote their earliest songs together, while serving for the organization.

After leaving 'Việt Minh', he was taught music by Robert Lopez during 1954-55, in France. He also attended the 'Institut de Musicologie' in Paris, even though he wasn't registered to the school. He returned to Vietnam and settled in the city of Saigon, where his songs were prohibited from being released or performed.

In 1975, Saigon was seized by the 'People’s Army of Vietnam' and 'Việt Cộng', marking the end of the 'Vietnam War' and start of the Communist government. Phạm travelled to California, United States, with his family. His songs were "reactionary", according to composer Đỗ Nhuận, and thus were not allowed to be sung in Vietnam.

Across the world, however, Duy's songs became quite popular and they gradually gained recognition even in Vietnam. Throughout his life, he wrote more than a thousand songs that could be categorized into 'Dân Ca' ('Folk Songs'), 'Tâm Ca' ('Heart Songs'), 'Đạo Ca' ('Spiritual Songs') and 'tị nạn ca' ('Refugees Songs'), amongst others.

In 2000, this prolific songwriter returned to his homeland for a brief stay, and settled permanently in Vietnam five years later. During the same period, the communist government that had initially opposed his creations, started doing away with all bans on his works.

Duy had written masterpieces like 'Tình Ca', ‘Cô Hái Mơ’, ‘Chỉ Chừng Đó Thôi’, ‘Thuyền Viễn Xứ’, ‘Tôi Còn Yêu Tôi Cứ Yêu’, and had translated popular foreign language songs like ‘Khi Xưa Ta Bé’ (‘Bang Bang’) into Vietnamese.

Phạm Duy also wrote 'Hồi Ký Phạm Duy', which is his autobiography, written in 4 volumes.

Major Works

This song writer's most popular work is 'Tình Ca', written in 1953, which speaks about patriotism. Once the ban on the song was lifted, a company purchased rights to the initial ten notes of the song for 100 million Vietnamese dollars.

Personal Life & Legacy

Phạm Duy got married to singer Thái Hằng, and the couple were blessed with eight children. All of them made a name for themselves in the music industry, including sons Duy Quang, Duy Cường, and daughters Thái Hiền and Thái Thảo.

The famous songwriter succumbed to gout as well as heart and liver ailments in Ho Chi Minh City, on January 27, 2013. A concert was organized as a tribute to him, and the proceeds were gifted to the family.

He was cremated in the ‘Binh Duong Park Cemetery’, his demise being lamented by famous singer Anh Tuyet and distinguished filmmaker Đặng Nhật Minh.

The brilliant songwriter has been compared to celebrated Vietnamese poets like Nguyễn Du, Hồ Xuân Hương, and Xuân Diệu, by the director of ‘Hoa Sen University’, Professor Vu Duc Vuong. Trần Văn Khê, famous music scholar, and Dương Trung Quốc, esteemed historian are some of those people who strongly campaigned for permission to release some of Phạm's songs, especially albums like 'Con đường cái quan' ('The Mandarin Road') and 'Mẹ Việt Nam' ('Mother Vietnam').

// Famous Musicians

Pham Duy biography timelines

  • // 5th Oct 1921
    Phạm Duy Cẩn was born to famous journalist Phạm Duy Tốn and his wife Nguyễn Thị Hòa, in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital city, on October 5, 1921. At the age of two, his father passed away, and his elder brother Phạm Duy Khiêm, who was a writer and Vietnam's ambassador to France, brought him up.
  • // 1943
    In 1943-44, Duy began singing as a part of the 'Duc Huy' musical group. During that decade, the French had occupied Vietnam, and the young singer joined a musical team for the nationalist organization 'Việt Minh'. Phạm and fellow musician Văn Cao wrote their earliest songs together, while serving for the organization.
  • // 1953
    This song writer's most popular work is 'Tình Ca', written in 1953, which speaks about patriotism. Once the ban on the song was lifted, a company purchased rights to the initial ten notes of the song for 100 million Vietnamese dollars.
  • // 1954 To 1955
    After leaving 'Việt Minh', he was taught music by Robert Lopez during 1954-55, in France. He also attended the 'Institut de Musicologie' in Paris, even though he wasn't registered to the school. He returned to Vietnam and settled in the city of Saigon, where his songs were prohibited from being released or performed.
  • // 1975
    In 1975, Saigon was seized by the 'People’s Army of Vietnam' and 'Việt Cộng', marking the end of the 'Vietnam War' and start of the Communist government. Phạm travelled to California, United States, with his family. His songs were "reactionary", according to composer Đỗ Nhuận, and thus were not allowed to be sung in Vietnam.
  • // 2000
    In 2000, this prolific songwriter returned to his homeland for a brief stay, and settled permanently in Vietnam five years later. During the same period, the communist government that had initially opposed his creations, started doing away with all bans on his works.
  • // 27th Jan 2013
    The famous songwriter succumbed to gout as well as heart and liver ailments in Ho Chi Minh City, on January 27, 2013. A concert was organized as a tribute to him, and the proceeds were gifted to the family.

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Pham Duy's FAQ

  • What is Pham Duy birthday?

    Pham Duy was born at 1921-10-05

  • When was Pham Duy died?

    Pham Duy was died at 2013-01-27

  • Where was Pham Duy died?

    Pham Duy was died in Ho Chi Minh City

  • Which age was Pham Duy died?

    Pham Duy was died at age 91

  • Where is Pham Duy's birth place?

    Pham Duy was born in Hanoi

  • What is Pham Duy nationalities?

    Pham Duy's nationalities is American

  • Who is Pham Duy spouses?

    Pham Duy's spouses is Thai Hang

  • Who is Pham Duy siblings?

    Pham Duy's siblings is Pham Duy Khiem

  • Who is Pham Duy childrens?

    Pham Duy's childrens is Duy Cuong, Duy Quang, Thai Hien, Thai Thao

  • Who is Pham Duy's father?

    Pham Duy's father is N

  • Who is Pham Duy's mother?

    Pham Duy's mother is Nguyễn Thị Hòa

  • What is Pham Duy's sun sign?

    Pham Duy is Libra

  • How famous is Pham Duy?

    Pham Duy is famouse as Songwriter