Teen sisters perform Thai classical music at Carnegie Hall

Two Thai teenage sisters recently delighted audiences at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall by performing Thai classical music on traditional instruments.

The teens, Akira and Valika Trivisvavet, were among the winners of the  New York Golden Classical Music Awards last year. The awards are open to youngsters, and its website says their “purpose is to discover artists of outstanding personality and provide awards which can help to launch international careers.”

Akira and Valika were among about a dozen young Thai virtuoso winners, including six-year-old pianist Thongtouch Muangsiri. 14-year-old Akira and 16-year-old Valika, were the only entrants who specialized in traditional Thai instruments.

Valika plays the khim, a Thai version of the hammered dulcimer, and Akira plays the ranat ek, a boat-shaped xylophone-style instrument made of wood. Similar instruments are found around the region and the tones and scales they produce have a distinctly Southeast Asian sound.

Basking in their reception by the New York audience, the sisters are more focused on their community than stardom. They said that their goal is to help pave the way for other young Thai musicians to compete and perform internationally.

“There is so much young talent in our country, many of whom are born into families who have played classic Thai instruments for generations but lack the know-how and finances to compete at a global music event. We would like to step in and help them with their endeavours to do so to the best of our abilities,” Valika said.

“We consider ourselves privileged to have been given the opportunities to reach where we are today and feel it is time for us to help others to realise their dreams. We hope to start this by creating a website and involve people to support this aspiration of ours,” she added.

Photo courtesy of https://www.bangkokpost.com/