Bundit Ungrangsee is a highly sought-after international conductor, with a career spanning 5 continents. He has appeared in front of leading orchestras such as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York, Utah Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and the prestigious La Fenice Theatre in Venice. He has conducted more than 500 symphonic and operatic performances with more than 40 orchestras worldwide. Recent engagements include concerts with: Pomeriggi Musicali (Milan), Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo (Italy), Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia (including an Asian tour), Malaysian Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony (Canada), Cukurova Symphony (Turkey), Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra (Turkey), Seoul and Busan Philharmonic Orchestras (South Korea), and the Orchestra di Roma e del Lazio (Rome). He has also worked with orchestras in Italy, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Denmark.
Ungrangsee is also an active operatic conductor. He conducted a series of performances of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore in Ascoli Piceno (Italy) and La Traviata in a tour of South Korea. Other notable productions he has conducted are: Puccini’s Il Trittico (Australia), Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (USA), L’Elisir d’Amore (Ann Arbor, MI, USA), and Verdi’s Aida (France).
Ungrangsee was one of three international conductors invited to actively take part in the historic development of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra into a world-class musical institution. He was also given the post of Principal Guest Conductor of that orchestra and conducted numerous concerts with the orchestra. In June 2007, he invited the orchestra to give a concert tour in his home country, Thailand.
In September 2002 Ungrangsee was named Laureate and Co-Winner in the inaugural Maazel-Vilar International Conductors’ Competition, held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The prize, awarded by a distinguished panel of judges including Lorin Maazel, Kyung-Wha Chung, Glenn Dicterow and Krzysztof Penderecki, recognizes him as first among the 362 competitors from 40 countries in the competition. At the conclusion of the competition, Maazel told the audience, “You are seeing the future of classical music.”
A Thai conductor of Chinese descent, Mr. Ungrangsee is the first Thai to have won awards in many prestigious international conducting competitions. Other competition prizes include Winner of the International Competition for Young conductors in Lisbon, Portugal (1999). In 2002, he placed fourth among 37 conductors from over 20 nations in the Hungarian TV-Radio International Conducting Competition in Budapest. He also was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Besancon Competition in France in 1998.
His previous conducting posts include: Cover Conductor of New York Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of Charleston Symphony, Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony (USA); Music Director and Conductor of the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles; Apprentice Conductor of the Oregon Symphony under James DePreist; and Assistant Conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony.
Among the world-class artists with whom he has worked are Maxim Vengerov, Julia Migenes, Joseph Alessi, the LaBeque Sisters, Paula Robison, Christopher Parkening, Christine Brewer and Elmer Bernstein.
The Los Angeles Times has reviewed Ungrangsee as “commanding calm and poise…exhibiting impressive assurance on the podium…His reading unwound unhurriedly and clearly, the patchwork drama made cogent and all the details noted, including pianissimo dynamics.” The Charleston Post and Courier reviewed Ungrangsee as “display[ing] a sure touch…leading a glorious performance-a model of rhythmic drive, dynamic control and pinpoint accuracy….delivering a truly thrilling performance that left the audience breathless…. His reading, from beginning to end, was filled with deft touches that bespoke much attention to detail and phrasing.”
In April 2004, Arabesque Records released an album of Mozart flute concertos conducted by Mr. Ungrangsee, featuring renowned soloist Paula Robison and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. The lush album, entitled “Mozart in Love,” was produced by Grammy-award winning producer Adam Abeshouse.
In 1998, he received the Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship and was invited to be one of only three Conducting Fellows at Tanglewood Music Center where he was mentored by Jorma Panula and Seiji Ozawa. Earlier in the same year, he was among nine young conductors from around the world to participate in the Sibelius Academy Conducting Masterclass at Carnegie Hall led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Music Director of Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Among the teachers he recognizes as his main influences are world-renowned conducting teacher Jorma Panula and Maestro Lorin Maazel, Music Director of New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Maestro Maazel has said of Bundit that “He is on his way to becoming a major force in the world of conducting,” and privately trained him over the period of three years. Bundit received his Master’s Degree in Conducting from the University of Michigan.
International publications that have profiled Mr. Ungrangsee include the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal Europe and American Record Guide.
Mr. Ungrangsee wrote his first book entitled “Conduct Your Dreams” (ต้องเป็นที่หนึ่งให้ได้) in 2006. With the aim of sharing what he had learned from hard experience with a new generation of young Thais, Mr. Ungrangsee used his own triumphs and disappointments to illustrate universal principles of success. The book was a runaway surprise bestseller and has sold over 250,000 copies to date. Mr. Ungrangsee has since written numerous other bestselling books, including “The Luckiest Man in the World” (30 วิธีเอาชนะโชคชะตา), “True Self-Confidence” (เชื่อมั่นในตน) and “The Awesome Power of Leverage” (สำเร็จก่อนใคร).
The Thai Government has recognized his achievements with the titles of “National Artist” (Silpathorn) and “Cultural Diplomat”.