It’s not often that we get classical concerts hosted in Pattaya and even rarer is a full orchestra in a splendid theatre; however, that all changed on the afternoon of Saturday the 5th of April as over 500 guests came to hear the SSMS (Silpakorn Music School) orchestra under the guidance of conductor Maestro Hikotaro Yazaki at the Tiffany Theatre in North Pattaya.
The SSMS is regarded as the most prestigious music school in Thailand. It comprises over 100 young musicians and has a foundation of highly skilled instrumentalists who mentor the students, along with a conductor who collaborated with the young artists throughout the duration of the summer school.
It’s not often that we get classical concerts hosted in Pattaya and even rarer is a full orchestra in a splendid theatre; however, that all changed on April 5 as the Silpakorn Music School orchestra performed under the guidance of conductor Maestro Hikotaro Yazaki at the Tiffany Theatre in North Pattaya.
This charity concert was titled, “Romance of Orchestra” and was organized by the Pattaya Classical Music Society & Pattaya International Ladies Club, in aid of the Hand to Hand Foundation.
The program for the concert was not a particularly popular one but rather one that would challenge the musicians … and perhaps the audience.
It was evident from the opening strains of the King’s anthem that these musicians were of a very high caliber and that they were working as one with the conductor.
The concert then proceeded in earnest with the prelude to Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg by Richard Wagner. This piece was originally conceived in 1845 and premiered in 1868. The SSMS rendition was warmly received by the audience and was followed by the world premiere of a piece titled, ‘Chakri Day’ by the Thai Composer M.L. Usni Pramoj. This colorful piece conjured up images of comedic movies and was for the most part lighthearted and energetic.
The assistant managing director of Tiffany’s Pattaya, Alisa Phanthusak, presents flowers to Maestro Hikotaro Yazaki.
The winner of the Thailand International Horn Competition 2014 Thossaporn Sombat then performed three movements from the Horn Concerto No.1 in E-flat Major by Richard Strauss. Thossaporn is currently a first year student at the Music Education Department at the Faculty of Education at Chulalongkorn University and began playing the French horn at the age of 13.
Gregory Barton, president of Pattaya Classical Music, presents Thossaporn Sombat with a token of appreciation.
His rendition was not note prefect and surprisingly he sailed through the more intricate passages but stumbled a little with some of the more rudimentary phrases. Yet for his age he performed very well especially in front unfamiliar audience.
After the intermission was a sublime performance of The Moldau by Bedrich Smetana. This piece encapsulated the title of the concert and the orchestra had the audience on the edge of their seats with their note perfect recital.
It was evident from the opening that these musicians were of a very high caliber and were working as one with the conductor.
Lastly was Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, again by Richard Strauss, which again provided a platform for showcasing the musicians’ abilities to create movement and comedy through music.
The concert was followed by presentations to Thossaporn Sombat by Gregory Barton, the president of Pattaya Classical Music Society, and to Maestro Hikotaro Yazaki by Alisa Phanthusak, the assistant managing director of Tiffany’s Pattaya, and to Concertmaster Leo Philips by Helle Rantsen, president of the PILC.
Conductor Maestro Hikotaro Yazaki takes a bow after a great performance.
The concert was very well received by members of the community and raised approximately 100,000 baht for the Hand to Hand Foundation. The show demonstrates that there is, indeed, an audience for classical music in this sometimes crazy city.
Allan Riddell, Ben Hansen, Tony Portman, Doris Berger-Peters, Helle Rantsen, Dr. Margret and Dr. Otmar Deter, Dave Anderson, Elfi Seitz and Nigel Quennell are ready to witness a great performance.
Children from the Hand to Hand Foundation also enjoyed the concert.