HELLO STAGE BLOG

A Concert in Bangkok

A day in the life of pianist Maria Radutu as she tours Bangkok and Taipei with the Vienna RSO and Cornelius Meister...
Writing a blog on a chaise-longue at the pool is a new and very nice experience. Yesterday we played our first concert in Bangkok, so I don’t have any new stories about life in Thailand.

On concert days, I normally keep a strict plan. Over the years, I have learned what works for me, so that I don’t get disturbed and can keep my concentration. One of the results of my regime is that you fly to the other side of the world, from winter in Vienna to the summer weather in Thailand, but you cannot go five floors down to the hotel pool to enjoy it, because it is more important to stay fit.

I felt like that in my childhood when my friends were playing, while I was practicing. But I wouldn’t really complain, because those hours when I do get my free time are much more intense. Even as a child, I didn’t have the feeling that, at least in the end, I had less freedom then my friends.

The excitement of the people from the Prince Mahidol Hall that we are here to play was really touching. When someone welcomes you in such a positive way, it’s much easier to open up and give the best you can. As I came on stage, the audience seemed to react in a similar way. Through the whole concert, I had the feeling that we are all part of a special moment, creating it in the same time.

At the end, Cornelius Meister, Maighread McCrann, the Konzertmeister of the RSO, and me were called on stage. General Prem Tinsulanonda, the former prime minister, handed us flowers in the name of the King of Thailand. Over 2000 people in the audience and the orchestra on stage and still, y ou couldn’t hear a single noise while the General was coming towards me. My thoughts were jumping between the majesty of the situation and the fear that I might do something wrong, as I was going step by step towards the General, trying to keep his “tempo” from the other side of the stage. When he handed me the flowers and started talking about the concert, I relaxed. We were told that he loves classical music, especially piano. He was really communicating and not fulfilling a protocol. I just had to answer to that and nothing wrong could have happened. At the autographs afterwards, a lot of people were greeting me with a handshake instead of the Thai bow.

I am talk about “building bridges” with my project in Austria. Yesterday, I went to sleep asking myself how much I actually know about Non-European cultures besides the history books (written by European historians). I hope one day I will know at least as much about the people I am playing for, as they know about us when they come to hear us.

Author: Maria Radutu
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