The festival is the only one of its kind in Thailand, showcasing many of the world’s top guitar makers and an impressive line-up of guest artists hailing from as far afield as America, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, Switzerland, Philippines and Thailand.
This year’s event kicked off with the adult and junior guitar competitions taking place in the morning as entrants strove to extract the maximum use of their short playing window in an effort to impress the panel of judges.
Natdanai Phuaphanprasong (center) receives his prize guitar after winning the 2012 Pattaya Guitar Festival.
The afternoon featured a guitar exhibition and was followed by a matinee performance by student musicians and a master concert by virtuoso stars Hitoshi Miyashita and Padej Nedpakdee. The ensembles then followed featuring Rattana-umpawan, Sakol Siripipattanakul, Tomonori Arai, Hitoshi Miyashita and the splendid Wong-Kojorn Guitar Quartet.
The day long festival culminated as usual with the prize presentations and a spectacular evening concert that showcased the expert strumming of Leon Koudelak, Monching Carpio, Pongpat Pongpradit, Tomonori Arai, Santi Kaewjai, Alessio Monti and Paul Cesarczyk.
The senior and junior winners pose for a group photo.
First prize in the senior competition went to Natdanai Phuaphanprasong from Thailand, who won a guitar made by the world renowned Indonesian luthier Hanief Palopo and valued at US$4,500. Coming in second and third were Tanist Saengwichai and Nattakrit Plewjit respectively.
The precocious Nattakrit Plewjit placed first in the junior section ahead of Poompat Samngam and Tanapat Samngam while all those taking part in the competition were presented with certificates in recognition of their accomplished playing.
Proceeds from the festival will go to the Father Ray Foundation which cares for more than 850 orphan children, street children, blind children and young disabled adults throughout Thailand.
For more information, go to www.thailandguitarsociety .com.
(Photos courtesy of Irene Sukanya Thepper/Sukosolhotels)
Musician and composer Alessio Monti.
The Wong-Kojorn Guitar Quartet perform Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.