All-Mozart Concert in Pattaya

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Mozart is coming to Pattaya on Saturday 12th July. Not in person you understand, because he shuffled off to the Music Room in the Sky well over two hundred years ago. In any case, if Mozart decided on a come-back, he’d probably get a better reception in Salzburg’s Getreidegasse rather than Pattaya’s Walking Street.

Even so, Walking Street is where you’ll need to go to hear this concert, to the splendid Siam Bayshore Hotel to be exact, near Bali Hai Pier. And incidentally, if you drive in from Second Road you’ll find plenty of parking spaces in the hotel grounds. The concert is being given by Bangkok’s long-established Pro Musica Orchestra conducted by the renowned M. L. Usni Pramoj, a violinist, composer and conductor. He studied law at Oxford where he played in the university band and has the rare distinction of playing jazz with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

M. L. Usni Pramoj conducts the Pro Musica Orchestra.M. L. Usni Pramoj conducts the Pro Musica Orchestra.

The programme includes Mozart’s delightfully sunny and charming Symphony No 29, written when he was seventeen. His brilliant Sinfonia Concertante K364 is a kind of cross-over genre between a symphony and a concerto and features two of Thailand’s finest string players; Tasana Nagavajara (viola) and Siripong Tiptan (violin). You’ll also hear Mozart’s Symphony No 1 in E flat, written in 1764 when the composer was only eight years old.

In 1763, Mozart’s autocratic father Leopold, a violinist, teacher and composer of modest achievement took his wife Anna and their two musically-gifted children Maria and Wolfgang on a three-year working tour of Europe. Mozart was seven at the time and the prospect of a three-year tour must have seemed a very long time indeed. These days, Leopold would probably have been hauled in front of some Child Protection Authority for subjecting his children to such a demanding experience. But perhaps Leopold thought it would be a profitable enterprise. It wasn’t, as it turned out, largely because travel and accommodation were so expensive especially in London, where the family stayed for over a year.

It was in London that Mozart then aged eight, wrote his first symphony. The work is very charming and it’s a remarkable achievement for such a young child, so remarkable in fact that one wonders whether Mozart’s pushy and ambitious father might have given him a hand. Any musical parent would find it hard to resist, especially a parent who was also a composer and teacher. Why not come to the concert and judge for yourself?

The Pro Musica Orchestra will play at the Parkview Hall, Siam Bayshore Hotel on Saturday 12th July at 5pm. And by the way, note the early starting time. You can get your tickets in advance at 500 baht from the hotel (038 428 678).