VIVALDI AND MOZART CLASSICS AT THE DUSIT THANI HUA HIN- Performed by SSMS String Orchestra (featuring Tasana Nagavajara ) Directed by Leo Phillips



SSMS String Orchestra Concert

Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous work “The Four Seasons” is certainly up there with classical music’s all-time greatest hits.  The music unintentionally brings serenity to hotel lobbies, relieves angst in dentist’s waiting rooms and breaks ice with nervous strangers in lifts everywhere.

However, “The Four Seasons” is much more than simply background music even though so many of us may never have heard it in its entirety. Vivaldi’s most creative compositions was far ahead of its time some two centuries ago and even today delivers a rarely seen freshness and vibrancy through the inventive and imaginative ability to make so-called programme music out of the humble violin concerto.

“The Four Seasons” is actually four violin concertos assembled as one piece. Each ‘movement’ or concerto evocatively depicts one season either spring, summer, autumn or winter.  Even the tone-deaf struggle not to realize which movement is in play; birds singing in spring give way to a storm breaking the summer heat. Wailing shepherds and drunken villagers revel at an autumnal harvest festival followed by haunting gun shots piercing the icy winter chill. Such vivid pictures described by dramatic notes!

So bright, lively and listenable – with brilliant technical virtuoso violin written in to complement  the exciting orchestral sound – no wonder it is  a likely shoe-in to top the classical music charts for the remainder of this century and beyond.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s charming and entertaining “Divertimenti for Strings” also ranks amongst the world’s best-loved classical tunes. Although the Italian word ‘divertimento’ translates into ‘amusement’, in Mozart’s era and in musical terms today, a more apt translation would be ‘additional extra’. Whenever people attended a function – be it a marriage feast, special dinner, birthday party or anniversary for instance – the additional extra would be this delightfully refreshing music; the pop music of Mozart’s generation.

As we know, Mozart was a genius of his age, incapable of holding back his great creative composing skills, even for a party; and “Divertimenti for Strings” delivers some of the composer’s earliest masterpieces, written in 1772 when Mozart was only sixteen years old! The melodies are sublime and often sweet in the faster and slower movements alike and the pizzicato opening of the final movement of K 136 in D major has oft been described as inspirational. Likewise the elegance and grace of the minuet in the third movement of K 137 in B-flat major conjures up a beaming sun! If you hear the parts, and there are several, when the first violins play a sweet melody and the second violins have running notes that are almost as complex as anything from his later works, you will come to realize that a genius is always a genius, even at sixteen!

Tasana Nagavajara was already proficient in the Thai classical instrument, Saw Duang, before he turned his attention to the violin at the age of 9. His renowned Thai teachers included Suphot Chomboon, Sutin Srinarong and Choochart  Pitaksakorn. The turning point in his musical education came in 1989 when he was granted a full scholarship by the International Menuhin Music Academy (IMMA) presenting him with a golden opportunity to study with Alberto Lysy and Johannes Eskar in Switzerland.  In the process he  become a member of the Camerata Lysy Gstaad performing under Lord Yehudi Menuhin in most major European cities, USA, Canada and South America. Further training with Roland Baldini at the Vorarlberg Conservatory in Austria, and with Kathryn Lucktenberg at the University of Oregon, Eugene, USA, completed his formal education in the West.

Upon returning home, Tasana Nagavajara, became a founding member of the Faculty of Music at Silpakorn University and  since 2005 has also served as Deputy Dean and Director of the Silpakorn Summer Music School (SSMS). As a professional musician, he has performed major violin concerts with Thailand’s leading orchestras and served as Concertmaster of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra under Hikotaro Yazaki for 10 consecutive seasons.

In recent years he has concentrated his efforts on chamber music, introducing a repertoire unfamiliar to Thai audiences and personally giving regular violin and viola recitals with leading chamber ensembles, culminating in the successful revival of the pioneering Pro Musica Orchestra under the baton of M.L.Usni Pramoj which toured 4 European countries in 2012.

Since 2011, Tassana has been building on his previous experience with IMMA, intensifying his international career through his involvement as faculty member and chamber performer at the annual Summer Music Festival in Lanciano, Italy. In the same year, he was invited to give a recital at the historic Mendelssohn House in Leipzig, an invitation which is being repeated in 2013.

Saturday, 26th October, 2013 From 6.00P.M.

Tickets for this first of a planned series of special Culinary Classics Concerts (CCC) are available from the Dusit Hotel and priced as follows:

  • Ticket only including complimentary cocktail @ Baht 300++ each
  • Ticket including complimentary cocktail and post-concert Italian set dinner @ Baht 1,300++  each
  • Tickets including  complimentary cocktail and post-concert barbecue buffet dinner @ Baht 1,200++ each