In 1982, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (BSO) was founded under the Royal Patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. Later, in 1985, the BSO was registered as the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation and in 2016 was granted a royal permission to be renamed as the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra or RBSO. Since 15th April, 2018, His Majesty the King Rama X has entrusted Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya to be the Patron of the RBSO. During the long and illustrious history of the orchestra, there have been three important figures serving as Chairman - Dr. Udane Tejapaibul (1982-2003); Dr. Sukum Navapan (2004-2015); and Dr. Harald Link (2016-Present).
The RBSO has been home to many talented musicians and conductors, such as Timm Tzschaschel, John Georgiadis, Hikotaro Yazaki, Myung Wun Chung, Loris Tjeknavorian, Barry Douglas, Mikhail Pletnev, Federico Mondelci, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, and our current music director Michel Tilkin. In addition to our regular performers, the RBSO has also had the opportunity to welcome some of the world’s best soloists such as Iliya Grubert, Peter Donohoe, Dang Thai Son, Mikhail Pletnev, Denis Matsuev, Stephen Hough, Krystian Zimerman, Joshua Bell, Lucas and Arthur Jussen. We will continue the tradition of bringing world class musicians and conductors to Thailand.
In November 2019, the RBSO was honoured to perform the Four Royal Orchestral Suites for His Majesty King Rama X, marking the Auspicious Occasion of the Coronation Ceremony in 2019. The concert was joined by three eminent instrumentalists from the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – Mr. Daniel Froschauer, section leader and first violinist, Mr. Ladislav Papp, harpist, and Mr. Robert Nagy, cellist. With HRH’s strong determination to develop the RBSO to a higher level as a leading orchestra in Southeast Asia, the RBSO will continue to collaborate with members of various orchestras, among others, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The RBSO is committed to promoting, preserving and building upon the tradition of musical excellence.
Under HRH’s guidance and leadership, the RBSO has become Thailand’s most travelled overseas cultural ambassador. The RBSO has performed concerts in Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and with several visits to Japan being especially well received. In coming years, the RBSO plans to expand our international performance schedule, in line with our vision of becoming the premier orchestra representing South East Asia on the world stage.
Since its inception, the RBSO has firmly believed in the importance of involving the community in the enjoyment and education of classical music. In 1993, the first Concert in the Park performance was held. Free and open to the public, this popular series has continued until today with several outdoor performances delighting concertgoers by serving a repertoire of familiar crowd pleasers, movie scores and pop songs. In keeping with the RBSO’s commitment to education, in 1996, the Royal Bangkok Symphony Music School opened. Instructors of RBSS have taught thousands of students over the years, many of whom have gone on to become accomplished musicians in their own right.