A chance meeting at a restaurant with the indefatigable Victor Tam, Founder, Chairman and Principal Conductor of the Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia https://bit.ly/2P0PEib eighteen months ago not only afforded an excellent opportunity for some fine food, it also generated an idea which, through his energy and enthusiasm, culminated in a wonderful week of music-making in Bangkok, Thailand in August 2018
During our conversation in the restaurant the idea of a trumpet concerto with wind band seemed attractive but, in an exotic twist, this soon morphed into a double trumpet concerto alongside Chris Moyse, https://bit.ly/2nvotPW ex-student of mine from RAM days and now co-principal trumpet with the HK Phil.
At the time I only knew Victor by reputation (btw, in his spare time he also founded the Hong Kong Chamber Wind Philharmonia http://www.hkcwp.org, the Hong Kong Youth Wind Philharmonia and the Hong Kong Junior Wind Philharmonia) but it was clear he was a man of action. A few weeks later, the prolific Japanese composer Yasuhide Ito https://bit.ly/2w1I65Y had confirmed he would compose the work and the date for the premiere had been arranged in Hong Kong’s City Hall https://bit.ly/2KLJdMk for February 2018.
During the rehearsal period leading up to the world premiere it soon became apparent that Yasuhide Ito, who attended the rehearsals and first performance, was a master of his craft. The work, superbly written for both solo parts and band, is a continuous piece of music divided into three sections.
The soloists use the full range of instruments – trumpet, cornet, flugel horn and piccolo trumpet – and the writing allows the band to be a major feature of the work rather than just mere accompaniment. After the City Hall performance, Victor immediately signed both Chris and I up for the recording to be made six months later in the magnificent Studio 28 http://www.studio28.co.th situated on the outskirts of Bangkok.
The complete entourage set off for Bangkok from Hong Kong on the evening flight of July 28th for an extraordinary nine-day trip that took in rehearsals, four days of recording, a concert in Mater Dei School, Bangkok https://bit.ly/2P3AWXN, a free day and – for Chris and me – a visit to meet the brass students at the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music http://www.pgvim.ac.th/en/ organised by Komsun Dilokkunanant, Lecturer of Music at the Institute.
During our day at the Institute we were fortunate to hear some excellent playing, both in solo and chamber ensemble repertoire, and to meet the President of the Institute, Associate Professor Khunying Wongchan Phinainitisatra
Apart from the superb standard of performance by the Hong Kong Chamber Wind Philharmonia, it was remarkable how much the musicians enjoyed their time together and worked positively and energetically with Victor, bringing this superb project to a successful conclusion.
Thanks to Victor Tam, Chris Moyse, and all the fabulous young musicians of the HKCWP for your great playing for the premiere at City Hall and your friendship and kindness during the trip to Thailand. Hope to see you all again very soon!