Yangon: The Classical Music Scene | Thahara
Gitameit Music Center Performance in Yangon

Yangon: The Classical Music Scene

There is a bustling art and music scene here in Yangon. Sometimes one has to search for it a bit, but once you are networked, or "tapped in" so to say, you will be so pleasantly surprised at all the different events taking place every weekend, here in Yangon, Myanmar.

Gitameit Music Center

Just a few weeks ago I attended a Gitameit Piano Salon. It was superb. Each artist, played one piece of piano music and added a little story around their inspiration in playing that particular piece. In Pali and Burmese "gita" means music, and "meit" means friendship. Gitameit Music Center was started in 2003 by pianist Kit Young and colleagues from Myanmar in order to build a supportive community of musicians and audiences locally, and to encourage sustained, meaningful contact with international institutions, teachers and performers. Gitameit Music Center is a non-profit community center and music school in downtown Yangon devoted to music teaching & nurturing, performing, offering exchange possibilities for Burmese students to study abroad, and inviting international artists & teachers for performances and workshops in Yangon.

I wanted to give credit to the wonderful artists and so filmed little snippets of each piece, so for those interested, you can watch different performances that Thahara has posted up on our YouTube channel.

Soe Paing

From Mogok, he came to study at Gitameit in 2009. He is a part-time assistant music teacher at the British International School and is on the Gitameit Piano faculty.

The piece that he played:

Girl with the Flaxen Hair (Preludes Book 1) Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Snippet of performance by Soe Paing

Thae Thae 

From Mandalay, she received a scholarship from Mandalay Gitameit in 2009. She moved to Yangon in 2012 to attend classes, join the choir and begin piano study at Gitameit. Thae Thae is a member of the capella group "Hangover" and teaches piano to children.

Obed Cung

Comes from Yangon, Sagaing Division, Kalay Township and received a scholarship to study at Gitameit in 2012. In addition to studying classical music, he has focused on his improvising jazz skills ad performed in ensemble concerts with Goesta Mueller. He would like to develop his piano skills in different genres.

Song of The Dune Christopher Norton (1953 - ) played together by Thae Thae and Obed Cung 

Snippet of the performance by Thae Thae and Obed Cung

Elite Syncopations (Ragtime) Scott Joplin (1867 - 1917) - played by Obed Cung

Snippet of the performance by Obed Cung

Darli Khin Zaw

Grew up in Mandalay. After finishing high school, she studied nursing. She took music classes from and studied piano with Saya Parami Shoon at Mandalay Gitameit and continued her piano study with Sayama (means teacher) Nyein Lynn Phyu and Sayama Kit Young. This past year she was coached by Ying-Hua Huang. She is in demand as a private teacher, teaches on the Gitameit piano faculty and has performed at the Myanmar Music Festivals at the National Theater. Darli has accompanied choir concerts at the International School Yangon and other institutions. 

The piece she played:

Serpent's Kiss: (Rag Fantasy) William Bolcom (1938 - )

Snippet of the performance by Darli Khin Zaw

Then a self composed piece was played by U Moe Naing, called Circle of Life

May Win Zan

She has played piano in her Yankin Seventh Day Adventist Church since she was a child. She came to Gitameit in 2011 and recently joined the teaching faculty.

She played:

Fantasie in C Major G60 G.F. Handel (1685 - 1759)

Snippet of performance by May Win Zan

Nyein Lynn Phyu

She started studying in Gitameit Director, U Moe Naing's small piano class in 2001. When Gitameit opened in 2003, she continued her piano studies with Sayama Kit Young and expanded her playing to include accompanying and chamber music. In 2010, her Gitameit Piano Trio won second prize in a Singapore chamber music competition. She has performed in many concerts as soloist, chamber player and accompanist for Gitameit Voices, ISY choirs, and various international embassy concerts. Myein Lynn Phyu directs and teaches in the piano department at Gitameit in addition to her schedule as a popular effective private piano teacher.

She played:

Rondeau from Partita 2 in C Minor J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750) 

Snippet of performance by Nyein Lynn Phyu (Olive)

Kyi Zin Wai

He started studying music at the age of 14. When he was 20 he was interested in playing pop and rock songs on keyboard. At age 22 he came to Gitameit to study a basic course in classical piano from Ko Ye, Sayama Nyein Lynn Phyu and Sayama Kit, as well as most recently coached by Ying-Hua Huang. In 2012, he started studying blues and jazz with professor Goesta Mueller from Innsbruck Conservatory in Austria who was in Myanmar volunteering. Kyi Zin Wai has performed in many Gitameit concerts and in the 2016 Myanmar Music Festival at the National Theater. He is interested in pursuing piano studies at a university abroad. 

He Played: 

Waltz opus 42 in Ab Major F. Chopin (1810 - 1849)

Snippet of performance by Kyi Zin Wai

Ningru Sut Seng Du

He is from Phakant, Kachin State. He started piano lessons at the age of 7 and started to work as a church pianist at age 13. In 2011, he moved to Yangon to study at Myanmar Institute of Theology (MIT). Ningru Sut Seng Du holds a Bachelor’s of Art in Liberal Studies from MIT. Currently he is an adjunct Music Lecturer and Choir Accompanist at MIT. 

He played:

The Rainbow Comes and Goes No 4. “Allegro con brio” Phillip Martin (1947 - )

Snippet of the performance by Ningru Sut Seng Du

Freeda Shwe

She is from Taungoo and started playing the piano at age 10. She came to Gitameit in 2012 to take music classes, choir and study piano with Sayama Nyein Lynn Phyu. She teaches beginners at Gitameit.

She played:

Etude of Bass Skips: “Carnival” from Etudes Book II Donald Waxman (1925 - )

Snippet of the peformance by Freeda Shwe

Myat Min Kyaw

He is from Yangon. He came to Gitameit in 2011 to begin foundational study in music, starting piano with Saya Saw Khaing Win and Sayama Nyein Lynn Phyu, his current piano teacher. His repertoire includes compositions by Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven. Myat Min Kyaw is gaining teaching experience as a member of the piano preparatory faculty.

He played:

"Asturias" Leyenda by Isaac Albeniz (1860 to 1909)

Snippet of the peformance by Myat Min Kyaw

Ying-Hua Huang

She is a pianist from Taiwan. In her early years, she entered competitions and performed in a master classes and workshops later on. She has performed in Taiwan, Russia, France, UK and Myanmar with an interest in contemporary music. Ms. Huang holds a Bachelors of Art from National Taiwan University of Arts and a Masters of Music from National Chiao Tung University.

She performed:

Sonatine (2nd Movement: Minuet)  Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Snippet of the Performance by Ying-Hua Huang

Thahara would like to thank Kit Young and Gitameit for inviting us to this event and we do look forward to future events. 

Kit Young and Ying-Hua Huang playing together