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Thai Diva Nadda Viyakarn to sing in Chiang Mai

Passion and Compassion

The perfect pair


Thai Diva Nadda Viyakarn to sing in Chiang Mai

Well known pop singer Nadda Viyakarn will be playing her first Chiang Mai concert in ten years on December 19 at the Playhouse and considering her husky voice and stage presence, it is sure to be an enjoyable show.

Khun Nadda finished her studies in Bangkok and then went to Canada and went to university there –staying with her uncle in Alberta. “When I was there it was still very native and untouched”. I studied business at Montgomery College and when I finished I went to visit friends in Europe. I ended up singing with a group of friends in Basel, in Switzerland in order to earn my bread and butter,” she added. After three and a half years, she returned to Thailand and where joined a group of friends who had a band at the Ambassador Hotel.

“Ever since then I didn’t stop singing. I started without knowing it would end up being my life. I didn’t have any voice training or music classes,” she said. She said that her mother noted she started singing when she was 3 or 4, childrens songs just naturally. “It just got into me, I started singing Jazz and love singing Broadway tunes.”

She added that she started in English because her voice doesn’t really fit the Thai songs. She said that 20 years ago people listened to soft music and slow voices and she came with her jazzy style and husky voice. “I started singing new songs before anyone else. I sang “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from Evita because I saw the show in London. It’s not a song, it’s a speech set to music, it really has something to say. I sing it because I love the song. It’s my signature song.”

Nadda Viyakarn will be performing on December 19 at 7:30 p.m., at the Playhouse Entertainment Complex, tickets will be available at Robinson’s and the Playhouse.


Passion and Compassion

Tasana Nagavajara and Pornphan Banternghansa in concert

By Jai-Pee

The first weekend in December was a very special time for music lovers in Chiang Mai. Two of Thailand’s finest musical artists presented two breathtaking recitals, Tasana on violin and Pornphan on piano. The programs were basically the same at each recital but with some additional and juicy elements in the longer second recital.

Tasana and Pornphan had come to Chiang Mai as guests of the Friends of the Chiang Mai Music Festival for their end-of-year recital on the evening of Friday 3rd. While in Chiang Mai, they accepted a second invitation from Vichit to play in his beautiful Vichit Gallery in San Kampaeng at an afternoon tea recital on the 4th. Both events were sold out as indeed they should have been, given the very high quality performances from these two eminent musicians.

On Friday night, the recital opened with two pieces by Chopin played by Pornphan which were then followed by a short Tchaikovsky piece and ended with the magnificent romantic Violin Sonata by Belgian-born composer Cesar Franck. The order was reversed a little at the Vichit Gallery and a numbers of additional short pieces by composers such as Delibes, Mozart and Monti were added. The quality of the playing by both performers was outstanding on each occasion. Pornphan has a deep and reverent understanding of Chopin and gave us a passionate performance of the B flat minor Scherzo what was as fiery and colourful as any of the recent Loy Kratong festivities. Her interpretation of the Nocturne in D flat, one of Chopin’s most remarkably beautiful compositions was deeply intuitive and played with great compassion and feeling.

The central piece in each recital was the uniquely nostalgic and masterfully crafted Violin Sonata in A major by Cesar Franck. Much of Cesar Franck’s music has fallen by the wayside but this sonata, a gem of romanticism with a classical structure remains one of the finest violin sonatas of its era. And master-musician and violinist Tasana did more than justice to this great piece. From the opening haunting melody to the final canon we were treated to a ravishing display of great musicianship by an artist with perfect control of his instrument. How fortunate Thailand is to have such artists who have an incredible grasp of western classical music. Tasana is quite devoted to the sonata and it showed throughout. He played the softer passages with profound compassion but then exploded in a sizzling outburst of unrelenting energy in the more vivacious sections allowing pure passion to dominate, especially in the second movement and in the finale of this adorable work. The main pieces, the additional pieces and the encores were all played beautifully as befitted the intimate setting at the Anne and Kazuyoshi Music Salon in Hang Dong and in the marvelous setting of the Vichit gallery with its superb acoustics and with its array of magnificent paintings and sculptures, not to mention the wonderful gardens with their breathtaking views across rice fields to the mountains beyond.

These were recitals by musicians of the highest caliber who delivered for the very appreciative audiences, music full of passion and compassion. They will both be back in Chiang Mai soon – it is not just a matter of ‘watch this space’ – you can join the Friends of the Chiang Mai Music Festival and be assured of seats for their next performances by ringing JP on 084 868 1017 for an enrolment form or for further information.

The perfect pair

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