The School of Music's Jeffery Meyer, director of orchestras, traveled to Thailand last week to conduct a subscription concert with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO), performing works by Narong Pangcharoen, Saint-Saens, and Copland.
Meyer first appeared with the TPO as part of the 2012 Thailand International Composition Festival and was immediately reengaged for the following season.
"The TPO is one of Southeast Asia's fastest growing orchestras and it's quickly becoming one of the best," Meyer said in an e-mail correspondence from Thailand, "so it's a real pleasure and honor to be invited back to work with them."
Leading an orchestra that is comprised of Thai, American and European musicians, Meyer reflected on the universality of music.
"The language that we speak is common and to be able to speak through gesture and musical ideas and connect at an emotional level across cultures is something quite profound," he said.
On Wednesday, July 10, Meyer also performed as a pianist with piano-percussion duo Strike at the 2013 Thailand International Composition Festival the week following the TPO concert. While abroad, the duo will have a second performance in Bangkok at the Silpakorn University School of Music.
"Guest conducting is always an interesting challenge," he said in closing. "You have to develop a very quick rapport with the orchestra and develop a quick sense of trust within a short amount of time. These experiences come back with me to Ithaca, both when I'm in front of the School of Music's orchestras and also as a teacher, especially as a conducting teacher. I'm able to give my students insight into not only working with young orchestras but working with professional orchestras.