Concerts including King Norodom Sihanouk’s Songs Mark 70 Years of Japan-Cambodia Friendship

The Worldship Orchestra, shown here during a performance on Sept. 15 at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center, played on Sept. 16 and 17 for the public at shopping malls in Phnom Penh. Photo: Meng Seavmey

PHNOM PENH — Songs entitled ‘‘Brise de Novembre” (November breeze) and “Phnom Penh” written by the late King Norodom Sihanouk were among the pieces of music that the Worldship Orchestra performed in Phnom Penh in September to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Japan-Cambodia Friendship.

The Embassy of Japan hosted the opening ceremony of the first concert held on Sept. 15 at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center on the campus of the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

During the event, Ueno Atsushi, ambassador of Japan to Cambodia and co-president of the Executive Committee for the 70th Anniversary celebrations, said that, over the past seven decades, the friendship between the two countries had deepened through cooperation while seeking peace, recovery, and socio-economic development.

“The economic and infrastructure development in Cambodia has been growing remarkably, and Japanese investments have also increased,” he said. “The potential for both countries’ cooperation is growing non-stop.”

Chann Ratana, Cambodian co-president of the Executive Committee for the 70th Anniversary celebrations, said that this year is a “special year” of friendship between the two countries that are both committed to further deepen and strengthen cooperation in all areas—peace, security, stability and prosperity—for people of both countries.

Speaking of the concert, Ratana said, “[t]his great concert is another excellent opportunity, not only to further foster our cultures and people-to-people connectivity, but also a grand contribution with a sense of harmony of both our beautiful countries.”

The Worldship Orchestra is a project of the non-profit organization Worldship. Founded in Tokyo in 2014, its goal is to enable young musicians around the world their “first orchestral experience,” that is, to perform in front of an audience for the first time.

The Worldship Orchestra performed two times in Phnom Penh following the official ceremony event. The first concert took place at the AEON Hall of AEON Mall Sen Sok City on Sept. 16, and the second on Sept. 17, at the Icon Plaza at AEON Mean Chey.

In addition to the late king’s songs, the musicians played well-known pieces of music or themes from films or games such as “Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Spirited Away.”

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