Clarinetist Charlie Suriyakham was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A former professional hip-hop dancer, Charlie graduated from the Prince Royal’s College and attended Payap University for one year. In 1993, he started his clarinet studies at California State University at Northridge. In 1995, he transferred to Chicago College of the Performing Arts of Roosevelt University in Chicago where he received a full scholarship to complete his B.M., M.M., and Professional Diploma in orchestral studies. In 1998, Charlie Suriyakham won the concerto competition at Roosevelt University. Charlie’s clarinet teachers include Gregory Smith and Larry Combs (Chicago Symphony), Debbie and Jim Kanter (Pacific and Hollywood Bowl Symphony). Charlie was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony, for two seasons. Charlie has performed with conductors and musicians including Daniel Barenboim, Yo-Yo Ma, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Hilary Hahn, and Leonard Slatkin. He currently holds a position with the United States Coast Guard Band, one of the premier military bands in the United States of America. In July 2009, the Herald-Times of Bloomington, Indiana lauded Charlie’s solo performance of Rossini’s Introductions, Theme and Variations with the Coast Guard Band as “brilliantly nimble”. He joined the music faculty at Wesleyan University in 2007. Charlie has performed eight solo recitals in Thailand and is committed to sharing his art with his native community as well as audiences across New England and the United States.
Charlie performed as a guest soloist in the Tri-County Symphonic Band's October 23, 2016 “Shades of Blue” concert.