This February 21st a friend of mine was gracious enough to invite me to a performance by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra in honor of the late HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana. It’s not every day we get to be one of the few, so being one of the few hundred attendee’s of this Requiem is something I’ll always remember.

Mysterious guy at gazebo

In preparation for this event I hinted around if perhaps I could bring my camera to capture the events and was told in no uncertain terms that I was invited as her ‘guest’, not to work or perform a service. Readers of this blog will immediately understand that this was an event we’d love to photograph, so it would have been a privilege and not work to have brought a camera, but I left the serious guns at home and snuck my new Canon G9 in my bag just in case.. I’m glad I did.

Girl in black

While waiting for the lovely young conductor who was to be my date for the evening I found myself seated in the entrance way of the Cultural Center with about 20 minutes to spare. Looking around I didn’t see much in the way of interesting compositions so remembering what I often tell my students “a lack of a composition only indicates a lack of creativity” I dug a little deeper in search of interesting subjects. Finally I had 3-4 interesting compositions in mind so I pulled out the handy Canon G9 and spent a few minutes capturing the desired scenes noticing that without the flash enabled I was shooting at ISO 800 which is the upper limit I choose to use this camera at.

Audience in the garden

Sitting under the first balcony I had a great view of the stage and orchestra, and just when I was thinking of pulling out the G9 a person came on stage and requested no pictures of videos be made, and no applause be given at any time. Looking around at all the black suits and dresses it couldn’t be more clear this was a somber event, so no pictures were taken. I’ve got to comment on this, I’ve never seen a more respectful and disciplined audience at such an event, the Thai peoples love for this Princess and their King was evident.

A woman and her iPod

Also, it was interesting to note that this Requiem had a Christian theme, perhaps unusual in a Buddhist country? The musicians were superb! Perhaps my favorite performances were made by the Thai Youth Choir and a solos by Monique Klongtruadroke and Teeranai Na Nongkai. A special mention should be given to Conductor Pawasut Piriyapongrat  for the splendid performance of her Thai Youth Choir. A wonderful performance overall.