Conductor in air dispute for refusing to fasten seat belt

Conductor in air dispute for refusing to fasten seat belt


norman lebrecht

November 09, 2016

The Thai-US conductor Somtow Sucharitkul has flown into some media turbulence after refusing to sit down and buckle up when ordered to do so by air crew.

Sucharitkul had got up to conduct his choir in the royal anthem as a mark of respect for the late king when the plane hit a bumpy patch.

His people are accusing the air crew of lack of respect.

Report here. Video here.


  • Miles Golding says:

    What an arrogant prat to risk endangering passengers and their belongings. Respect for crew’s professionalism takes precedence over a gesture of respect for a dead person however royal they were.

  • Nick says:

    Somtow is a supreme self-marketer and arrogance personified when it comes to doing that he wants.

    That aside, this is a period of deep national mourning in Thailand for the death of a much-loved King. All around the country, Thais are wearing black or white as a mark of respect. That anthem is not the National Anthem but the King’s Anthem. When played or sung, it is customary for all in attendance to stand. To my eyes, the fact that all except Somtow were sitting shows a considerable lack of respect, especially by the Choir members. But they no doubt had their own safety in mind. For Somtow to criticise the air crew who were only doing their duty towards the safety of their passengers shows, to misquote the words of Miles Golding, what an arrogant prick he is!

  • Rich Patina says:

    Gosh, a conductor that is an arrogant prick? How unusual! What a surprise!