The Kings Symphony Orchestra will perform its Spring Concert Sunday in Hanford — and will be joined by a special soloist.
Fresno high school student Ryan Titapiwatanakun will join the symphony as a guest, having won the KSO’s Young Artist Competition in February.
“I didn’t really believe it at first, I didn’t believe they called my name. It wasn’t until I was driving home that it sunk in and I thought, ‘I really just won this competition,’” Titapiwatanakun said.
Titapiwatanakun will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto as a soloist with the orchestra, under music director Jeffrey Fritz. The concert is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, March 19 at the Hanford High School Presentation Center. Tickets are available at www.kingssymphony.org.
“This is regarded as the big competition in the Central Valley and it’s always been a dream of mine to win, so I’m kind of just lost for words,” Titapiwatanakun said.
In choosing his piece for the competition and subsequent concert, he wanted to choose something difficult and meaningful as a way of marking an accomplishment to cap off his final year of high school, he said.
“I just wanted to conquer one of these great violin pieces,” he said, adding that he wanted to share the concerto’s message of love and discovery with an audience.
Violist and Kings Symphony Orchestra board member Hugh Monro Neely served as one of the judges for the Young Artist Competition this year.
“Ryan is an exceptional young violinist. He performed admirably one of the most difficult concertos in the repertoire with a fine, mellifluous tone, excellent intonation, and admirable bow control. It is sometimes difficult to compare young musicians who perform on string instruments, with those who play piano or woodwinds, brass or percussion,” Neely said. “This year, all contestants played either violin or viola, and despite entries from a group of impressive and accomplished students, Ryan was the clear leader, when the final decision was tabulated.”
“Besides the nearly flawless technique, [Titapiwatanakun’s performance] had that showmanship element that really drew me in, made me forget about examining the technical details and instead just get lost in the music,” said judge Christa Reiber, adding that the judges were looking for “the difficulty level of the piece they performed, as well as their execution of it.”
Titapiwatanakun started playing violin about nine years ago, as he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. His father played violin as a teenager but ultimately gave it up.
“My dad was happier than me to be honest,” Titapiwatanakun said about his competition win.
Titapiwatanakun likened his father’s tutelage to that of a sport coach/father, just for the world of music instead of athletics. His father would take him to every practice and help him hone his craft throughout the years.
Titapiwatanakun said that he’s also appreciative of his music teachers as well. Currently in his senior year, Titapiwatanakun works with instructor Thi Nguyen at University High School in Fresno. He also attends the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a pre-college student.
“I think having both of those musical outlets has really shaped my vision of technique and musicality,” he said. “Without my teachers, it honestly would be an impossible journey.”
Add a Comment