Chanyapong Thongsawang's bio is pretty straightforward: he fell in love with the piano when he was about seven years old, and more than 20 years later the feeling's stronger than ever. When other kids started dozing off at the first strains of classical music, it was the start of a lifelong journey for Chanyapong that has become more and more "extreme" as years have rolled by.
"My uncle Peerapong Surawan is a piano teacher and he taught me how to play and had me listen to classical music since I was very young," says Chanyapong. "It was not boring at all. I listened to ones that are very interesting such as Franz Liszt's La Campanella or Chopin's waltzes and polonaises. It was fun and enjoyable. I was motivated to learn more because I wanted to be able to play the songs I have heard and also ones which are more difficult."
Recently the 31-year-old gave a pianoforte recital at Chulalongkorn University's Music Hall, playing works from Chopin, Alkan, Wagner and Brahms on a Pleyel grand piano, Steinway square piano and Broadwood grand piano, all more than 100 years old. He also gave a short lecture on the history of pianoforte from the period of piano maker Bartolomeo Cristofori up to Steinway & Sons.
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