By Kathleen Pokrud
The Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation, under the Patronage of HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya, in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and B. Grimm Group Ltd, will present a concert on 17 March at the Thailand Cultural Centre. Under the long-awaited debut of German conductor Christian Kunert with German brothers Niklas Liepe (violin) and Nils Liepe (piano) performing, they will present a wonderfully attractive rarity in the repertoire – Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings in D minor as well as the overture to Victor Hugo’s great romantic-tragedy, “Ruy Blas”, and music for Shakespeare’s immortal comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
Christian Kunert initially studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg with Bernd Glesmer and bassoon with Albrecht Holder. After an early career as bassoonist with Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Philharmonishes Staatsorchester Hamburg, and Hamburg State Opera, he has increasingly shared his time between bassoon and podium. Since 2017, he has been conducting the Harvestehuder Sinfonieorchester Hamburg; from 2021, the Nordic European Orchestra Concerts, and from September 2022, he has been chief conductor and artistic director of the HeFai Symphony Orchestra in China, thus developing his reputation in Asia.
The Liepe Duo began performing chamber music together as children and, to this day, when they perform together, they merge into a near perfect harmony. They share a musical intuition on stage that can only have developed through long years of performing together. At the Liepe & Co Festival, founded by the brothers at a steel warehouse near Hannover’s South Train Station, they aspire to present classical music in entirely new contexts, determined to attract younger audiences whilst challenging more experienced concert-goers with fresh horizons and expectations in terms of interpretation and performance.
At the ages of eleven and thirteen they made their first broadcast with Radio Opole in Poland, and in 2014, their CD with works by Albeniz, Turina, and Ginastera was hailed by the media as a brilliant recording, rich in contrasts. They have collaborated with A-list artists such as Andras Schiff, Ana Chumachenco and Yuri Bashmet, all of whom were full of enthusiastic praise.