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“The Future of Classical Music in Thailand”
“I wish you all to realize that the prize is a part of the reward gained from competing, but the real reward you receive is the knowledge, experience, and skills that are of great value. I hope it will continue to be used to benefit society and the nation.” – Princess Galyani Vadhana (given on 9 December 2002)
As part of the festival’s objective to realize Her Royal Highness’s vision in promoting classical music to Thai society, the competitions, The Future of Classical Music in Thailand, aim to explore possibilities for making classical music sustainable for the current and future contexts in Thailand. In order to create a path for the future of classical music in Thailand, one might wonder what help might it need.
The current pandemic has changed the landscape of music making. The conditions for live music experience both for performers and audiences are much more stricken which led to the decrease in revenue. But, is that the main problem preventing the growth of classical music in Thailand? Was there a problem before the pandemic but being fastened by it?
Classical music and its musicians in Thailand have been struggling long before the current pandemic begins. From not getting enough support or being seen as a genre requiring a deeper understanding with strict concert etiquette, the demand for classical music is not enough to support Thai classical musicians where many of them had sadly changed their careers. At the same time, classical musicians are only trained to perfect their performing skills which might not be enough for the fast-changing world.
The competitions aim to find possibilities in generating the classical music industry, creating more demand, adding more value, to make it more sustainable within the context of Thai society.