There are many issues, all impressive, to reflect from the concert of Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) in the afternoon of Saturday 23 August 2014 at the Music Auditorium, College of Music, Mahidol University. They range from the visit of General Prem Tinsulanonda, Privy Councilor and statesman, to listen to music and informally became our guest of honor; the world premiere of new composition by Narong Prangcharoen, Thai renowned composer who becomes successful internationally; the presentation of new music in light classical style with Thai flavour composed by Lt. Col. Preteep Suphanrojn; the important performance of the cello soloist, Tapalin Charoensook, who is now one of the best cellists in Thailand; and the last, the leader of the TPO, the demanding conductor, Alfonso Scarano, who creates different distinct discipline when he conducts. All of these happened within one concert (…) Alfonso Scarano, the conductor of this concert, chose 3 works by 3 Russian composers to perform: Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian Easter Festival Overture by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Symphony No. 2 by Alexander Borodin. If a good conductor means the one who can create a difference, Scarano must surely be included in this group. Each time he conducted the TPO we could see great order and harmony in performing. On one side of musical taste, we may give importance to creative interpretation of music that is one step beyond correctness and good ensemble. But on another side, we admit that if an orchestra can perform with technical excellence, with clarity and all detail, in good harmony, etc., the beauty of music will reveal itself automatically. And Scarano is a conductor of the latter side. Many may disagree with his interpretation in various points: in Shostakovich’s Festive Overture that was extremely fast (fast tempo of Russian School is often faster than one of Western Europe or America), the articulation of the opening of the first movement of Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 that was longer than usual, the second movement that was too serious that the playful character of a scherzo was missing, etc. These are different ways of interpretation that are normally disputable depending on each person’s taste. But what was clear and certain is the great order of the performance that Scarano could efficiently control. If we divide good conductors into 2 groups—one that emphasises (personal) inspiration, creativity, liveliness, and finds new ways of performing the same composition differently, we call this group the “subjective”; and the second group that emphasises strictness, correctness, clarity, that reminds me of Arturo Toscanini, the leader of this school of conducting, we call this group the “objective”— Scarano surely belongs to the latter. Nowadays, in the symphonic world, especially in Europe and America, it is not easy to distinguish whether a (good) conductor adheres to which method. There are so many talented musicians, trained from top conservatories, audition to get a place in an orchestra. A symphony orchestra now becomes a huge musical instrument made from fine materials in every part. Conductors would almost not have to strictly impose discipline and improve playing technique of musicians as in the past. They only need to tell the musicians what they want, and the huge fantastic musical instrument of this era is ready to respond without difficulty. However, the art is not only about employing a good instrument. It is also about “space” which is equally important (or at times more important); it is inspiration, spirits, and feelings. Both types of conductors mentioned above bear strength and weakness as common in arts. It is like 2 sides of a coin. Thus a symphony orchestra prefers to have “guest conductors” for variety in musical performance. For Thailand, we have to honestly admit that the ability of our musicians is not as high as the world standard. To have a conductor, who is very strict (as if a training coach) in the “objective” style, like Alfonso Scarano, is still necessary in developing and increasing capacity of the orchestra in the long term. Borwonpong Supasopon (english translation by Ampai Buranaprapuk)