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Music in their hearts

Apr 08. 2016
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By Special to The Nation

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Siam Sinfonietta triumphs at Carnegie Hall, bringing home its fourth gold award
Last week Siam Sinfonietta, the youth symphony orchestra founded by Somtow Sucharitkul, made its second appearance at the fabled Carnegie |Hall of New York as part of the |Sounds of Spring International |Music Festival. 
Four of the most accomplished young classical music ensembles in the world assembled for the festival: a choir from the Czech Republic, two wind ensembles from the US, and Thailand’s Siam Sinfonietta, the only symphony orchestra to be chosen for the event.
Siam Sinfonietta, founded six years ago, uses revolutionary teaching methods pioneered by Somtow to holistically create awareness of the cultural context of classical music and to propel young musicians towards international careers. 
In its short history, the Sinfonietta has made an immense impact in raising awareness of Thailand’s growing ascendancy on the world cultural scene. The orchestra has played in the great halls of the world, from the Musikverein in Vienna, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, to Carnegie Hall and Disney Hall in the US.
Featured at the festival was a 10-minute premiere of the next opera in Somtow’s ambitious “Das-Jati – The Ten Lives of the Buddha”, a 10-opera cycle which, when completed, will be the largest composed work in the history of performing arts. Trisdee na Patalung conducted two excerpts from the forthcoming “Chariot of Heaven”, the fifth work in the cycle, featuring the song of the charioteer Matali and the journey of the divine chariot through heaven and hell.
Also featured was music by Salieri, the US premiere of Trisdee’s deeply personal “Perception” for orchestra, and the New York premiere of music by Daron Hagen, one of America’s most well known opera composers. 
The concert closed with Somtow’s own arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner”, drawing a protracted standing ovation.
Siam Sinfonietta was awarded a Gold Award by the festival organisers, the fourth time the orchestra has taken top honours in a festival in a prestigious world venue.
Members of the Sinfonietta will |tour again in August, performing in Germany, the Czech Republic, |and Slovakia.

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