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