Nuttha Kuankajorn started piano lessons at the age of 5 and oboe when she was 15 with Chanannut Meenanan. She has passed Trinity College London examination Grade 8 with distinction for both piano and oboe.
She has performed as an orchestra member with various orchestras in Thailand such as the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Thai youth orchestra, Bangkok Charity orchestra, Siam Philharmonic orchestra, Siam Sinfonietta, ChulalongKorn university orchestra and Thammasat University Symphony Orchestra.
In 2007, 2008 and 2009, she has won the 2nd prizes at Asian symphonic band competition and Thailand International wind and ensemble competition with her high school band. She has also attended several music camps and festival in Thailand, China and Nepal. She has performed in masterclasses conducted by Paolo Grazia, Stefan Schilli, Victor Tam and Shikeki Sasaki.
Nuttha is currently a second-year student of Rachel Walker at Yong Siew Toh conservatory of music, National university of Singapore.
(This interview was conducted in September 2011)
How did you begin playing the oboe?
Since 5 years old, I started learning the piano as my family also plays it. When I was 13, I went to an orchestra concert and fell in love with the oboe. My brother said that not many people play the oboe so I assume it must be a good instrument to learn.
What made you decide to come to Singapore to pursue music education?
The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music is a popular choice for music education in my country. I’ve heard a lot of Thai musicians saying that it is the best school of music in Asia. Being able to study with Rachel Walker was also one of the reasons to come to Singapore.
Tell us more about events and projects you have participated in.
I’m currently involved in a number of school chamber groups such as trios and quintets. I have recently performed ‘Petrushka’ with The Philharmonic Orchestra under Lim Yau at the Esplanade on 15th September.
Where do you draw your inspiration and motivation from?
My inspirations and motivations come from my family who constantly support and believe in me, even though they are not here in Singapore. I admire Albrecht Mayer, principal oboe of the Berlin Philharmonic as my favorite oboist, and I hope to be like him someday. That’s why I am working really hard to make this dream come true.
How do you find Singapore so far?
It has been good. Singapore is a very nice, neat and clean place. Even though it’s small, there are many interesting places to visit.
Can you provide a brief run-through on your daily practice routines?
My practice normally starts with long tone exercises followed by scales, exercises and then solo pieces.
What do you think affects the sound the most – the player, the reed or the oboe?
To be honest, I think it’s the reed. The reed is one of the most important equipment for every oboist and it can cause even the best oboists to sound bad if it is out of shape.
How is it like studying at the Yong Siew Toh conservatory?
Studying in Yong Siew Toh conservatory of music is quite difficult for me, mainly because of the language problem as well as the large amount of materials that students need to study. Everyone must be responsible in order to keep up with the high standards in the conservatory.