A native of Thailand, Natnaree Suwanpotipra started her first music lessons at the age of four and studied piano with Assist. Prof. Dr. Eri Nakagawa before attending colleges in the United States. Also known as Belle, she is a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Maryland School of Music while pursuing her doctoral of musical arts in piano performance. She recently received her master’s degree in piano performance at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Prior to her studies with Daniel Pollack at USC, she graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance (magna cum laude) under Gustavo Romero, with many scholarships. Belle recently performed Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra last summer. She was a finalist for the UNT College of Music’s concerto competitions and served as the college’s music ambassador as well.  

 

She won many first prizes from Thailand’s national music competitions including piano solos, piano four-hands, and electone ensembles in the Yamaha Thailand Music Festivals from 2003-2008. In 2008, she received the special prize award from the Bangkok Chopin Piano Competition and a gold medal from the Ministry of Education. She later won the Silpakorn Summer Music School Piano Competition and performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1 under Maestro Darell Ang and Concert Master Leo Phillips in 2009. In the following year, she won the first prize gold medal from the Settrade Youth Music Competition and later that performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto under Maestro Terje Mikkelsen with the Southeast Asia Youth Orchestra (SAYOWE) at Mahidol University. Belle received a full music scholarship to study at the Harrow International School from 2010-2012 and became a soloist for school’s orchestra concert. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security also awarded her the 2011 Outstanding Youth of Thailand under the category “Arts and Culture”. Earlier in 2012, she won first place in Thailand’s Steinway Piano Concerto Competition and performed Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto with the Bangkok Charity Orchestra. 

 

Since she started her education in the United States, she was chosen as a second place winner of the 2013 American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music and performed in Carnegie Hall, New York City the following year. In 2014, she was the youngest contestant who passed into the semi-final round of the Dallas Chamber Symphony International Piano Competition and the Young Texas Artists Music Competition. Belle also gave solo and chamber performances over many summers in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand and in Völs am Schlern, Italy, where she she attended the Schlern International Music Festival. 

 

A well rounded musician, Belle collaborates with other musicians and is part of ensembles such as the Piano Quintet 18 and Subito Trio. Belle also plays the flute and has held chairs in the Harrow School Orchestra and the Bangkok Charity Orchestra. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in the United States and is a passionate educator, actively teaching students of all levels.