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Standing Room Only and a Standing Ovation – Thaya Kongpakpaisarn in recital


Standing Room Only and a Standing Ovation – Thaya Kongpakpaisarn in recital

By Jai-Pee

Last year with this brilliant young pianist it was ‘fireworks fast and furious’; this year it was ‘raise the roof’! On Friday 18th June in the uniquely intimate music salon of the Murase home at Baan Wangtan, the Friends of the Chiang Mai Music Festival were honored to be in the presence of this wonderful pianist. And so popular is this young man, the recital was repeated on the Saturday afternoon when almost twenty special students and staff from the Northern School for the Blind attended along with parents and students from Santi’s Music School amongst the other guests. This was a very different audience from the Friday evening, but nevertheless, Thaya managed to capture their imagination very quickly and play impeccably throughout, delighting one and all with his outstanding performance.

Young Thaya Kongpakpaisarn raised the roof at his two concerts on the 15th and 16th of June, pleasing not only a group of classical enthusiasts but students from the Northern School for the Blind as well.

Thaya is so startling because he plays a hugely varying repertoire of music; he has excellent mastery of the piano; and his interpretations are tender, romantic, dynamic, thunderous and just so appealing! Liszt’s famous Liebestraume opened both concerts, a work well known and much loved by audiences – Thaya played this with determination and surety and captured the tenderness and eloquence of the melodic lines perfectly. Chopin was next on the menu – a ballade and a nocturne, the first played astoundingly creatively and the second full of the eloquence and beauty of the piece.

Thaya is joined by author Jai Pee after the concert.

The rarely heard yet magnificent Beethoven set of 32 variations on an original theme dating from 1806 followed – this was truly a great interpretation of this persuasive and fluent piece, delivered with gusto and panache. The audience was captivated! An impressionist interlude by Debussy took us to a joyful island, the legato passages rippling like the sun shimmering on the water. Then came the finale – a series of more modern pieces by Katchachurian – his roaring Toccata played with such energy the roof was beginning to shake! Then Prokofiev – selections from the early masterpiece Visions Fugitives followed by the Diabolical Suggestion No 4. In these last pieces the young Thaya excelled – his playing was secure, firm and wonderfully controlled as he brought new life into the musical world with his tremendous rendering and convincing performance.

Here we have a star in the ascendancy – and it was a true privilege to be in the same room as this exciting pianist delighted the capacity crowd. With raucous cheers and with the whole audience on their feet, the evening came to an end far too quickly! This young man has a great future ahead of him – and all of us here in Chiang Mai who have had the honour to hear him play wish him well in his career and we were delighted when he accepted an invitation to return in a year’s time and play for the Friends once again.