LIVE: Ekachai Jearakul @ Massry Center for the Arts, 3/20/16

April 6th, 2016, 4:00 pm by Greg


Review & photographs (rehearsal & performance) by Andrzej Pilarczk

One of the most gifted classical guitarists on the international contemporary music scene, Ekachai Jearakul possesses an outstanding command of the acoustic guitar’s dynamic range, a mastery of finger technique and an acute, inner-spirit understanding of the compositions he performs. For two glorious sets at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts, Jearakul mesmerized the audience with a program culled from his initial appearance at the GFA 2014 International Concert Artist Competition, where he walked away as the undisputed winner of the event – the first Asian musician to do so.

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Born in 1987 in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, Jearakul started his classical guitar studies at the age of thirteen. After completing his Bachelor in Music degree at Mahidol University College of Music, he moved on to finish a Master’s degree in Guitar Performance at Salzburg’s Mozarteum. He is currently a Yamaha guitar artist.

Americans are familiar with many world-class Asian classical artists that are becoming the mainstream stars of concert halls and classical festivals nationwide, most are Japanese, Korean or now Chinese, but it’s still a rarity to hear a world-renowned performer from Thailand. That Central Asian country has a rich and wide-ranging musical tradition that has yet to emerge on the international stage, but with Ekachai Jearakul the world community is starting to take note.

He has performed all over the world as a solo artist or in an orchestral context and, at still under age 30, Ekachai Jearakul has already begun his musical journey to be another Julian Bream, Christopher Parkening or even perhaps a Segovia. During his Sunday night concert presented by the Classical Guitar Society of Upstate New York, Jearakul displayed an effortless mastery over his instrument – sometimes playing with his eyes closed. He’s got the talent, passion and chops to be one of the world’s best – if he isn’t already.