Van-Anh (Vanessa) Vo won First Place in the Dan Tranh (Vietnamese 16-string zither) National Competition in Vietnam in 1995. Her nationally acclaimed career has taken her and her beloved Vietnamese music to international festivals and performances throughout America, Europe, and Asia. Born into a musician family, Van-Anh demonstrated her musical talents precociously. She can play numerous Vietnamese string and percussion instruments as well as the keyboard, but the instrument she feels most attachment is the dan tranh.
About the dan tranh: A Vietnamese 16-string instrument, dan tranh emits clear, bright sound like that of water flowing. It probably originated from the same family of the Japanese koto, the Korean kayagum, and the Chinese zheng. The player wears finger-nail plectrums on three fingers to pluck and glide on the strings. Dan tranh is played solo or in ensemble, accompanying poem recitation or singing and taking part in different Vietnamese traditional orchestras.