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  • LIFESTYLE

    For whom the Bell bows

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 06/08/2018

    » When Joshua Bell plays a single work with an orchestra, tickets anywhere in the world are sold out within minutes. However, Bell, one of the leading lights in fiddle-playing, won't be playing a mere single piece with the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra on Sept 4.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Taiwanese pianist Weiyin Chen returns to play with RBSO

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 03/04/2018

    » Few names in classical music are as dreaded and venerated as New York Times reviewer Anthony Tommasini. The lanky writer, expressionless, tieless, inevitably seated on the aisle in Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, gives little indication of his thoughts during a performance. But within 24 hours, his printed judgements will have reached millions. And like a Roman Emperor signalling "up" or "down" to a gladiator, his opinions to a young artist can mean professional life or death.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Bringing out the Brahms -- and Mozart, too

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 23/03/2017

    » 'The only reason I'm famous," said composer Johannes Brahms, the arrogant pride of Viennese music in the 1880s, "is because other people don't respect the very best things. Like Mozart's piano concertos!"

  • LIFESTYLE

    Brahms, Schumann and a royal tribute

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 06/07/2017

    » On July 15, the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra will feature two giants of 19th century musical history and one world premiere tribute to Thailand's late monarch.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Father and son, in perfect harmony

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 26/04/2016

    » After five generations of Bachs and the father-son duo of Johann Strauss, the idea of musical families is hardly rare. But the team of Vladimir and Vovka Ashkenazy -- who will be appearing in Bangkok on May 14 -- is truly singular. After all, Vladimir is more than well known. He is one of the finest pianists living today, is a widely-acclaimed conductor and his life is the stuff of adventure movies. Vovka, the son of Vladimir and his Icelandic-born wife, is already gaining an international reputation as a pianist. And his transcriptions of classical music have been recorded and lauded on record and in the concert hall.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Internationally recognised Thai ballerina returns

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 06/08/2015

    » Before she reaches her third decade, Bangkok-born Natnaree "Ommi" Pipit-Suksun is beginning to stretch the boundaries in American ballet. As a dancer with the London Royal Ballet School, a Soloist Dancer in the San Francisco Ballet and now a Principal  Dancer with the San Jose Ballet Company, she is one of only two "non-Caucasian women" in America to reach this height. (The other, African-American Missy Copeland, gave credit to Ommi on the nationally-broadcast Charlie Rose Show last month.) She has already danced on three continents in lead performances. The Huffington Post listed her as one of American's "39 most exciting dancers".

  • LIFESTYLE

    Dark, yet more romantic

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 17/02/2015

    » It's encore time for Clara-Jumi Kang. When the formidable Korean violinist appeared here last year, playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, critic James Keller praised her "truly authoritative and highly sensitive musical command". This coming Saturday, Kang has changed her violin, modified her feelings and changed her music from the very proper early 19th century Mendelssohn to a rare highly romantic surprise written 50 years later.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The Mighty Trio: Chopin, Hough and Debussy

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 02/09/2014

    » It has taken 15 months, but Stephen Hough is finally giving Bangkok an encore. Rather, the great British pianist is giving a dozen-odd encores after his triumphant performance of the Rachmaninoff and Lutuslawski Paganini variations last year.

  • LIFESTYLE

    'The Great American Songbook' in Bangkok

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 25/01/2018

    » Never, ever call American popular melodies mere light music.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Strings of astonishment

    Life, Harry Rolnick, Published on 18/02/2014

    » Shakespeare once wrote: “The devil rides upon a fiddlestick.”

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