Prof. Michael Leuschner performs at Gong Dee Studio
For many of us the most treasured part of our private
belongings is our collection of recordings of classical music. Twenty four
hours a day great musicians from all over the world are ready to present us
with their interpretations of almost any composer we can think of. But every
now and then we long to attend a live concert, where a musician performs in
our presence, making a direct ‘contact’ between the artist and the
Leuschner receives a bouquet of flowers from Wanphen Dirksen, while German
Hon. Consul Hagen Dirksen and Amari Rincome’s General Manager Wim Fagel
applaud. (Photo by Michael Vogt)
Last week the German Embassy and Amari Rincome Hotel
provided such an occasion. Michael Leuschner, renowned for his concerts, as
well as for his recordings, returned to give a recital at Gong Dee Studio.
It was a memorable evening that started with a pleasant
surprise: a Haydn Sonata (in F major Hob.XVI/23). Haydn, who sometimes,
together with Mozart, is called the father of the classical sonata, wrote
over 52 sonatas for harpsichord and pianoforte. Unfortunately, they are
seldom played. Leuschner’s Haydn was a rather strict man, with not too
much obvious liveliness. But his talents as a composer were well presented
to the audience.
Beethoven’s Appassionata sonata followed. This
well-known composition received an energetic and very Germanic
interpretation. Leuschner used every possibility to show both the beauty of
the sonata as well as his deep appreciation for this music.
Liszt gave Leuschner another chance to show his technical
skills. The lively Rigoletto Paraphrase, although certainly not Liszt’s
most impressive composition, was given an overwhelming rendition. And
finally there was Chopin with a Nocturne (in D flat major op.27/2) and the
Grande Polonaise. Here the professor of piano at the ‘Musikhochschule’
in Freiburg seemed to teach us how these famous pieces ought to be played.
As Amari Rincome’s GM Wim Fagel described it afterwards: a very fine
evening with beautiful music played by a great interpreter. Thank you
Michael Leuschner, we hope to see you again next year.
Award Ceremony for outstanding service
The U.S. consulate general’s management officer, Henry
Jardine, was awarded with a special honor in March, and the new U.S.
ambassador was on hand to present it. Henry has been instrumental in
consulate renovation and upkeep projects, taking a keen interest in
preserving Thai culture and providing a good working and living environment
for the U.S. consulate community.
Honor Award for Henry Jardine who will leave Chiang Mai in late May.
From the Department of State comes this Superior Honor
Award for Henry. He received the honor for outstanding service as the
management officer from October 2001 to May 2004. “Mr. Jardine
demonstrated great commitment and initiative in making significant
improvements to the consulate’s facilities, security, and the overall
quality of life for its staff and families. His exemplary performance
reflects great credit upon him, the consulate general and the United States
Department of State.” The award was signed by James A. Kelly, assistant
secretary of state.
Consulate staff and families have long been aware of Henry’s
contributions, and this award is a nice way to say thank you. The Jardines
will leave Chiang Mai in late May, and Henry’s next post will be Calcutta,
India, where he will be the consul general.
Chiang Mai Art and Culture Festival
To emphasize the importance of art and culture and to
create a good image of Chiang Mai to tourists, the Chiang Mai Art and
Culture Festival will be staged in the plaza in front of the Three King’s
Monument. This festival is now in its eighth year.
the actors in the Chiang Mai Art and Culture Festival 2005.
Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor stated, “Chiang
Mai’s culture melds well with minorities such as Tai Lao and Tai Leu. It
is one of the kingdom’s original cultures and we should proclaim this to
Junnapong Saranak, director of Tourism Authority of
Thailand Northern Office Region 1 said, “I admired Chiang Mai culture very
much, even though I am not a native. We have tried to support and promote
the culture with the cooperation of temples, communities and the
There will be eight activities starting on April 1 at 7
p.m. with an outdoor performances in the courtyard of the Three King’s
Monument; an exhibition of Charm of Nature Cotton and Silk from 10 a.m. to 8
p.m. From April 1-5 at the Art and Culture Gallery of Chiang Mai University;
Lanna Art and Culture Heritage at Lok Moree temple from April 1-9 and a
Northern Thai Cultural Event, the Wisdom of Lanna Arts and Craftsmen at the
Art Museum CMU during April 1-28; Poy sang Long at Pa Pao Temple from April
4-6 and a Lanna Puppet Show at Huen Boran Museum, Chiang Mai University on
April 2-3 and 8-9.
In addition, there also will be The 30th Larb Muang Festival at Kad Suan
Kaew on April 9 starting at 12 noon, and the Lanna Drum competition on April
9 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Yupparaj School.
Thousands enjoy 8th Fah-ngam Games
The “Fah-ngam Games” have taken place for more than
seven years and this year Tambon Fahham administration organization hosted
the eighth games March 19-21 at Chiang Mai’s municipality stadium. Almost
2,000 attended the grand opening parade of eight Tambon administration
organizations, and Yaowapa Wongsawat, consultant to the PM, presided over
the opening ceremony, joined by VIP TRT faithfuls Pakorn Buranupakorn,
Boonsong Teriyapirome, Surapol Kiartchaiyakorn, Chiang Mai MP, and Kwanchai
Wongnitikorn, deputy governor of Chiang Mai.
2,000 participants enjoyed the games.
The object of the games is to promote unity and to
encouraging youth to keep away from drugs and to spend their time more
usefully. There were general sports such as soccer, volleyball, Takraw,
chair ball and petanque, and more local activities such as tug of war, sack
running, three leg relay races, motor bike tire relay races, and ground ski
amongst other games.
costumes made for a colorful display.
Yaowapa Wongsawat said, “Sport not only builds up your health, but also
unity among the players.” There was a special soccer match after the grand
opening between Chiang Mai Tambon Administration Organization and Chiang Mai
Mass Media Club. The Mass Media Club won 2-0.
Hong Kong String Quartet aids tsunami victims
The Hong Kong Academy String Quartet came to perform at
Gong Dee Studios, Chiang Mai on March 26 with the support of the Ministry of
Culture, with the profits from the performance donated the to tsunami
Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai mayor receives donations to aid the tsunami
The members of Hong Kong Academy String Quartet include
three Chinese youths: Gui Li (Violin), Yang Fan (Viola), Xiong Yin (Cello)
and Thai youth Dechopol Kowintaweewat (Violin). Works of Joseph Haydn,
Shostakovich and Ravel were presented to the enthusiastic audience.
The Chiang Mai mayor said that this concert would lead to
a good relationship between Thailand and China.
Kong Academy String Quartet performing at the concert.
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts is a music institute
established by the Hong Kong government 20 years ago and most of its
professional teachers are from England. It has encouraged Thai classical
music by supporting scholarships for Thai youths for more than ten years.