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Performance of Princess Galyani Vadhana Conservatoire Orchestra – News Comment from Chiang Mai 2009.6.15 PublicationSale


An Orchestra with a Difference


As many music lovers already know, Thailand has a number of orchestras already, including the Bangkok Symphonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra plus some regional ones as well such as our own Chaing Mai Symphony Orchestra.  Now something both enthralling and exciting is happening in Bangkok which will hopefully have repercussions throughout Thailand.  This was alluded to in a previous article – the foundation of the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute, or Conservatoire as it is likely to be known.  And on Monday Jun 15th at the Siam Commercial Bank Plaza, a recently formed and new symphony orchestra with its conductor Hikotaro Yazaki launched into a first class performance of Symphony No. 4 in G by Gustav Mahler.  The accoustics of the hall were adequate rather than good, but  nevertheless, the orchestra gave us a heart-warming and lively performance of this final Wunderhorn smphony with Leipzig trained soprano Katrin Starick presenting a fine rendition of the Wunderhorn song Das Himmlische Leben, delivered with grace and tenderness.

This dynamic new orchestra led by Leo Phillips who played with the London Philharmonic and now lives in Thailand, performed nothing short of a minor miracle under the direction of conductor Yazaki.  He ensured there was a true balance between the various sections of the orchestra as well as maintaining an energy and clarity  throughout all four movements.  And what potential this orchestra has – at least half of its players are young an feature many women, including Ajaan Judith Uttley fom Payap university here in Chinag Mai on harp.  The players came across as devoted, sincere, determined and professional throughout, responding with alacrity and keenness to each gesture of the baton of Yazaki, thereby capuring the nuances of this remarkably romantic and pastoral symphony of Mahler.  Most importantly however is the emergence of a brand new initiative in memory of a very great Lady and much respected musician.  With the talent, energy and ehtusiasm in the concert hall that night, and the dynamic  leadership of the conducor, Thailand is set for a new era of music making as the performance of this difficult Mahler symphony proved – where there is a deep love of music and a sincere appreciation and understanding of a composer as complex as Mahler, there should be no doubt that the future of Thai music making will be an enlightened one!  Please watch this space as there will be more to follow as well as concerts here in Chiang Mai in a couple of months time.