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Chiangmai Classics Evening combines East and West

W*E international women’s art show to come in October

Chiangmai Classics Evening combines East and West

Cory Croymans-Plaghky
Photos by Watcharapong Jingkaujai

The second attempt to bring local musicians and western classical music lovers together in the beautiful Kad Suan Kaew theatre was rather well received by both Thai and overseas spectators.

The evening started on a contemplatively magical note with Shaila Kanga’s contemporary “Six American Sketches” for flute and harp which were wonderfully interpreted by Annette George and Judith Utley.

The popular Belgian chocolate fountain provided by the Gallothai Company.

During the next 10 minutes, Alessio Monti and his classical guitar entertained the audience with his own, unusual South-American and Nepalese inspired solo compositions “Camino El Alba” and “The Forest of Gokarnath”.

Following this, the audience had the privilege of listening to the premier performance of his “Per Due” composition for flute and guitar in which Alessio artfully mixed Eastern and Western rhythms and sonorities with some funny sequences and an extensive use of the guitar’s accompanying capabilities. Normally, this piece is considered as being impossible to play by any mortal flute players but Annette George managed to do it anyway and how!

Before the break, Dr. Chaipruck Mekara with his clarinet and David Wilson on the grand piano, skillfully accompanied Deborah Childs who sang Schubert’s “Shepherd on the Rock” in excellent German and with great joy and gusto.

At intermission, Gallothai Company’s Belgian chocolate fountain was again popular. There was also a display of paintings which were on sale to support the charity activities of the New Life Foundation.

Six American Sketches for flute and harp by Annette George and Judith Utley.

During the second half of the concert, Deborah Childs continued her wonderful performance with Ravel’s Five Popular Greek Melodies aptly accompanied by Judth Utley. The evening concluded with the Chiangmai Dissonant String Quartet with Mozart’s best composition for string quartets, his K.465.

All musicians were clearly thrilled at the opportunity to be playing for such an appreciative public while at the same time supporting the fundraising activities of the New Life Foundation. But it is quite evident that such an initiative cannot survive only from ticket sales. Wherever there is a performing arts group, there are always financial supporters who appreciate the cultural events of their community. If classical music lovers in Chiang Mai want more events like this, concert tickets will have to be increased in price, or more subscriptions are needed to the supporting Privilege Membership of the Chiangmai Classics’ program. More details about this membership can be obtained by email to cory @loxinfo.co.th or fax 0 5381 9352.

We thank the organizers for such a great initiative and we look forward to the next concert on Saturday, March12, 2005 which will bring music from Quantz, Haydn, Debussy, Dubois and Mozart as well as two great Ragtime piano solos by David Wilson.

W*E international women’s art show to come in October

Sandy Clark

Nanthapa Cooper, artist and co-author of Culture Shock Thailand, was in town to promote an art exhibition called W*E, by a group of international artists to be shown at Chiang Mai University Art Museum in October this year.

Nanthapa Cooper, promoting the W*E exhibition.

Nanthapa, originally from Bangkok, studied fine art in England and is working as exhibition organizer. W*E suggests the collaboration between the West, as represented by the artists, and the East, represented by CMU Art Museum.

The women artists live and work in London and the south east of England. Their practice is diverse, ranging from textiles, painting, photography, video, sound installation, and sculpture. The work is concept-based and deals with issues such as the environment, space, feminism and mood. As the artworks in this exhibition originate from England, the show is supported by the British Council, and will be opened by its Chiang Mai director, Jon Glendinning.

Nanthapa considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home, and though still living in England, this cross-border exhibition allows Nanthapa to “come home”. It will also enable her to learn more about Thai contemporary art, as in future she hopes to take Thai artists and show them in the UK as well.

CMU Art Museum is the largest exhibition gallery in Thailand, under its curator, prominent Thai art historian, Ajarn Somporn Rodboon.

If you want to know more in regards to the upcoming exhibition, contact Nanthapa Cooper at [email protected] scali.co.uk.

(Culture Shock Thailand, first published in 1982, is still an important and widely read cultural guidebook, with the latest edition coming out in May this year.)