Exciting classical concert at Centara Grand

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There’s a not-to-be-missed concert at Pattaya’s Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort at 5pm on Sunday 12th July when the Salaya Chamber Orchestra presents a programme of well-loved classical works.  The Orchestra is made up of accomplished string players from the College of Music at Mahidol University and takes its name from the University campus in Salaya, just outside Bangkok in Nakhon Pathom province. 

Coached by cellist Stefanie Waegner, many of the players are already prize winners at national and international competitions and they perform in true chamber music style without a conductor.  This exciting charity concert is presented by Pattaya International Ladies Club and aims to raise funds for fifteen different charity projects supported by PILC, including Hand to Hand, Mercy Centre, Kate’s Project, Sanuk Centre, Fountain of Life and the Father Ray Foundation to name but a few.  Both the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort and the College of Music at Mahidol University are supporting the event.

The Salaya Chamber Orchestra.The Salaya Chamber Orchestra.

The concert will feature works by J. S. Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn and Nielsen.  The Salaya Chamber Orchestra will begin their programme with Bach’s brilliant Concerto in D minor for Two Violins and Strings, known to musicians simply as “the Bach Double”.  The performance will feature soloists Chanya Charoensook and Teesin Puriwatthanapong and if you are not too familiar with Bach’s orchestral music, this is a great place to start.  With driving rhythms and a constant interplay between the two soloists this is one of Bach’s most approachable and delightful compositions.

When Bach died in 1750, Joseph Haydn was eighteen and virtually unknown.  He was a struggling freelance musician working at different jobs which even included busking on the streets of Vienna.  No one would have guessed that he would eventually become Austria’s most famous composer.

By the time he wrote the String Quartet Op 76 No 4 in the 1790’s Haydn was one of the most celebrated musicians in Europe.  This quartet is known as the Sunrise on account of the rising theme over sustained chords that begin the work.  It’s a wonderful piece; rich in melody and invention and typical of Haydn’s mature style.  The four-movement quartet will be played in its entirety by Varissara Tanakom and Pattapol Jirasuttisarn (violins), Krit Supabpanich (viola) and Kantika Comenaphatt (cello).

Mendelssohn was a child prodigy, and the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe considered him superior to Mozart at the same age.  It was in the spring of 1822, when the young Felix was still a boy of twelve or thirteen, that his four-movement Sinfonia No. 7 in D minor first saw the light of day.  The work comes from a set of twelve string symphonies which Mendelssohn completed before the age of fourteen.  It’s written with a lightness of touch and sense of assuredness remarkable for someone so young.

Denmark has produced comparatively few classical composers, but Carl Nielsen is the most well-known.  His evocative Suite for Strings Op. 1 (sometimes known as the Little Suite for Strings) was one of his earliest works and was first performed in Copenhagen in 1888.  Nielsen was twenty-two at the time and about the same age as some of the young musicians in the Salaya Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets for this special charity concert are only Bt. 600, available at the door from 4pm on the day of the concert, or they can be reserved by email at [email protected]  There’s also a 20% discount on food at any of the restaurants at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort upon presentation of your ticket, an offer valid until 30th September 2015.  The concert will end at around 7.00pm but don’t forget the early starting time.

To get there, head towards Nahklua from the Dolphin roundabout then turn left into Soi 18, just past Bon Café on the other side of the road. Follow the soi down to the narrow bit then turn right. The main entrance to the massive hotel is about 500 metres on the left and looks like the portico of an Aztec temple. You can’t miss it.