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Conventional knowledge has it that classical music in Thailand consists of just two types: traditional ethnic music; and the Thai classical music created 100 years ago by local composers, who forged their own music with the classical music of the West.

What’s less well known is that Western classical music also has a deep-rooted and enthusiastic following in Thailand, with established orchestras and popular concert halls - albeit currently on a smaller scale to some Asian neighbours.

This enthusiasm – in many ways attributable to the fondness of late King His Highness King Bhumibol Adulyadej for music – is now being orchestrated by Min Yang, virtuoso violinist and former first violin of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Shuttling between a home in Dubai and her Asian base in Bangkok, she’s a tireless advocate for development and promotion of Western classical orchestras, particularly those of Thailand.

She was appointed Resident Concert Master of the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra  after being invited to perform for His Highness King Bhumibol’s birthday concert, and also works closely with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra  and music students of Chulalongkorn University,  Thailand’s oldest university.

Min’s series of masterclasses in Bangkok has brought distinguished music teachers from her native China to pass on their skills to Thai musicians and students.

And as the link between these teachers and students, she leads by example - joining them to play her 1740 Italian Calcanius violin in concerts which conclude their masterclasses.

In July and August, she’ll take this series to a new level, with music professors from Europe and the USA arriving in Bangkok to hold masterclasses with Thai and Chinese students.

This will coincide with a conference held by the Federation of Art and Cultural Promotions,  where Min’s visiting professors will take the stage to discuss ideas on further developing Western classical music in Thailand.

"Thailand is an exciting focal point for Western classical music at the moment. I’m privileged to assist in nurturing its development to help it blossom in a beautiful and meaningful way",  says Min.

"There is so much promising musical talent here, coupled with enthusiasm and a commitment to realising that promise. Thailand has a wonderful musical heritage and a dazzling future in the hands of its talented musicians".

Min has a lifetime of musical passion to pour into her work - born into a musical family in Beijing, she started to play the violin from the age of five and gave her first public concert a year later.

She entered the attached primary school of China’s  Central Conservatory of Music at the age of eight, later attending the Conservatory itself.

After her studies in China, Min was offered a full scholarship by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and over the next two years gave recitals across England and Wales while studying with Russian violinist Lydia Mordkovitch, before graduating with Diplomas in Advanced Studies in Musical Performance and Professional Performance.

Her career highlights include working with the  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Assistant Concert Master with the  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Guest Concert Master with the  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and  West Australian Symphony Orchestra; and Guest Co-Master with the  Hallé Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

At the  London Symphony Orchestra Min held Number 4 position in the first violins for five years, as well as giving solo recitals, concertos and chamber music concerts throughout Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East.

She now devotes herself to teaching and masterclasses, as well as touring as a soloist and with her own Min Trio, made up of principal London Symphony Orchestra musicians.

And in between all that, Min still finds time to perform as an acclaimed soloist with leading orchestras.

A review of her recent performance with the  Siam Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro Somtow Sucharitkul noted:  "She proved she is no lightweight…she played the intricate solo effortlessly, with soaring lines and with great delicacy…power too; she dominated the ferocious orchestra much as the beautiful Scheherazade managed to quell the raging Sultan of the Arabian Nights".

It all sounds like the opening bars of an overture to an exciting new age of Western classical music in Thailand.


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