The Sounds of Toyota Classics 2012

No, I’m not referring to the sounds of Toyota engines roaring by.  The Toyota Classics refers to an annual event that has been on-going since the 90s, which sees different world renowned chamber ensembles having a tour in the major countries in Asia, which of includes Brunei, and is fully sponsored by Toyota Motor Asia Pte Ltd and NBT Sdn Bhd of Brunei.

I am thankful to my friend Jan for inviting me to shoot along with him and Gavin this year.  Before this, I was oblivious to the existence of Toyota Classics and what it is, ignorant to the point that anything to do with the word ‘Toyota’ has to do with cars.  Having learnt the piano since I was young and achieving my Grade 8 ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) Piano Examinations, and hours and hours of jamming with my Church band eventually acquired me the skills to play the other instruments such as the keyboard, guitar, bass and drums; the Toyota Classics 2012 which presents the Vienna Chamber Orchestra this year, is certainly my cup of tea!

Vienna Chamber Orchestra
The Vienna Chamber Orchestra presented by the Toyota Classics 2012 performing in the newly commissioned Arts Centre Building in Jerudong International School which was the perfect venue for the occasion; a comfortable concert hall with elevated seats, perfect noise dampening, and artistically designed interiors.
Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah
The Toyota Classics is also an event meant to raise funds for charitable bodies. Gracing the event was Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah which presented a total of $81,000 to Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam, Dana Ihsan Annur Harapan and the Learning Ladders Society.

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All smiles as the members of the orchestra prepares to bring us on a journey filled with the harmonic sound of music

Eye contact
Conductor Joji Hattori (right) and guitar soloist Soichi Muraji (left) smiles at each other indicating that they are ready to begin the piece.
Soichi Muraji plays his solo section with intense feelings and full of concentration; his fingers running on the guitar strings like they were playing on a piano – fast and accurate to the note.
The journey begins
And so the journey begins, each instruments telling their own stories, united as one voice by the skills of the conductor.

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The low hums of the contrabass (left), the exciting beats of the drum (middle) and the angelic sounds of the violin (right).

Man of many expressions
The many expressions of Joji Hattori, respected and known internationally for his interpretation of the Viennese Classics, the place he grew up in.
Joji Hattori emphasizes the virtuosity of the moment as he swings his arms and head with full force and energy.
Standing Ovation
The audience was totally captivated by the performance of the orchestra and gives a standing ovation, asking for one more piece.
Surprise! Surprise!
The conductor Joji Hattori, touched by the response of the audience, decides to perform another piece; this time shocking the audience with his own solo skills on the violin. (Joji Hattori was first a concert violinist having won many competitions before he developed into directing chamber orchestras)


At the end of the event, both Joji Hattori and Soichi Muraji was presented with beautiful flowers from a pretty flower girl.  All the audience was deeply impressed and moved by the performances of the evening.  The orchestra members were all smiles as they are glad and thankful that they have given yet another breath-taking performance.

Honestly, I have to say that this is the best photographing event so far throughout my career as a photographer.  I found myself truly enjoying the whole function.  But it is not because there were a lot of ‘moments’ to capture (in fact I had less pictures compared to my usual events), instead I found myself teleported to heaven, with all the sounds of God’s creation and instruments playing their tune.  I was captivated and mesmerized by it all!

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