Royal musical masterpieces to shine

HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya’s outstanding compositions will bring more joy for HM the King’s coronation celebrations at RBSO concert

published : 18 Nov 2019 at 04:31

HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya at the rehearsal of an RBSO concert earlier this year. Photos: Patipat Janthong

After only a few years as the patron of the long-standing Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (RBSO), Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya has proven extraordinarily talented when it comes to music composition.

“When a music composer is to create a song, it’s not that he or she just writes the song and that’s it. In terms of music composition, it’s evident that Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya has much more musical proficiency and experiences, especially when compared to people her age,” said famous Thai composer Narongrit Dhamabutra.

As part of the celebration of the royal coronation ceremony of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, Princess Sirivannavari has composed four special songs which are to be played by the RBSO — for which the Princess herself also serves as director and the chair of the Artistic Committee — in the “Four Royal Orchestral Suites For His Majesty King Rama X” concert which will take place on Thursday and Friday at the National Theatre.

Their Majesties the King and Queen as well as Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati will be present at the concert on Thursday.

Aside from the four royal compositions, what’s also special about this concert is that three leading musicians from the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic will also perform at this special occasion, said Harald Link, chairman of the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (RBSO) Foundation.

“Vienna Philharmonic is one of the most famous and well-recognised orchestras in the world,” said Link. “And the reason they will be here is because Princess Sirivannavari did go to Vienna and invited them herself. Thanks to her royal visit, the bond between Thailand and Vienna has also been strengthened.”

Established in 1982, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation later gave birth to the then Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (BSO) which went on to flourish. In 2016, the band was bestowed an opportunity to perform at Princess Sirivannavari’s fashion shows. Since then, the band’s musicians and the Princess worked closely together to adjust the music scores and other aspects of the performance. Therefore in the same year, BSO was renamed the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (RBSO) and placed under the Royal Patronage of Princess Sirivannavari in April 2018, as entrusted by her father to oversee the Royal Patronage of the RBSO Foundation.

Earlier this year, the multitalented Princess launched a royal initiative to organise a special concert to celebrate the coronation of HM the King. The RBSO Foundation agreed with the idea so a consultation and discussion with RBSO conductor Michel Tilkin began.

‘Four Royal Orchestral Suites For His Majesty King Rama X’ will be under the baton of RBSO conductor Michel Tilkin. Patipat Janthong

“Princess Sirivannavari worked on and on with our conductor to adjust the music scores so that they fit perfectly with the concert,” recalled RBSO general manager Wanchai Yanubol. “This upcoming performance will be the first time that the RBSO plays the royal composition by the Princess.”

Wanchai added that the upcoming celebratory concert will feature up to 90 chorus singers, with Thai crooner Radklao Amaradhisha as a soprano singer. Veteran baritone Kittinan “Kit” Chinsamran will also showcase his music talent at the upcoming event.

The four special songs composed by Princess Sirivannavari to be played at the concert include Adobe Of Metamorphosis, The Story About “Horse, Helen, Henry”, Lost In Mystical Garden and Serenity. According to Narongrit, the concert will see a perfect combination of diverse music genres — from traditional, classic, pop and rock to contemporary classic — which will be featured through all the four songs. Adobe Of Metamorphosis, for instance, is a marriage of conservative classical music and contemporary musical structure, resulting in a new music genre that has never before been heard.

The concert will also see the use of “opposite” musical instruments such as baroque harpsichord, classical piano, electric guitar, electric bass and drum set along with various types of keyboards from the 20th century. Despite their differences in tones and sounds, these instruments will play in harmony which will help the royal compositions stand out even more.

“Princess Sirivannavari has followed in the musical footsteps of her royal grandfather His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great,” said Link. “And for this special concert, she has been fully committed and working tirelessly with all the musicians and conductor as if she were a commoner. This makes everyone eager to express their talents which will shine through at the upcoming performance.”

HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya overseeing the rehearsal for the upcoming concert. photo courtesy of Praew Magazine