HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Is Chiang Mai ready for classical concerts?

Is Chiang Mai ready for classical concerts?

The Editor,

I very much enjoyed yesterday’s concert in the Kad Suan Kaew theatre. This attempt to bring local musicians and western classical music lovers together is a great initiative and was well worth the reasonably priced tickets.

It was also evident that the artists were clearly thrilled at the opportunity to perform for such an attentive public which is rather unusual in Thailand. However, imagine my horror at seeing some foreign residents (who were obviously well-off people), trying to get in the concert hall without paying after the performance had started, or trying to negotiate a lower ticket price at the sales booth while a long queue was waiting, and (yes, there is more) moving down from an inexpensive 100 baht seat to the more pricey 600 baht seats during the performance!

Come-on guys, stop complaining that there are not enough such western inspired events in Chiang Mai. If you want more classical music performances, you must put your money where your mouth is, either by buying the more costly concert tickets or by sponsoring such events more diligently in a corporate or private manner.

I hope that prominent persons and those companies who cater for upper-class customers will seize such events to promote their products and services while at the same time supporting classical musicians who are so undervalued and underpaid, if paid at all.

The same goes for the music teaching staff at well-established local universities who are paid a pittance and poorly equipped with teaching aids in inadequately maintained classrooms and offices. No wonder that promising local musicians just go abroad to get the proper training while their parents have to foot the heftier foreign educational expenses. What a waste of time and money.

And how many of these young hopefuls would actually come back to stay and work here when they can hardly cover their living expenses from what they are paid here? It is time to wake-up, one and all, because you reap what you sow.

Concerned Music Lover