HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Pisco comes to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Music Festival - a mesmerizing performance


Pisco comes to Chiang Mai

The Ambassador of the Republic of Peru, H.E. Mr Carlos M. Velasco and Mrs. Simona T. Velasco hosted a glamous reception at The Chedi Hotel last Thursday, February 28 called ‘Peruvian Pisco Night’.

Mom Luang Preeyapun Sridhavat admires the national dress of Peru.
The Achirana Canal built by the Incas, provided the European invaders with a sufficient water source to plant vineyards with the Negra Corriente grape in 1547. The vineyards thrived and within ten years, Peru was exporting wine to Argentina, Chile and back to Spain. The Europeans craved their native brandies. Eventually they found a grape called the Quebranta which produced a pure, highly potent, aromatic brandy which eventually became known by the port from which it was exported to grateful drinkers abroad, ‘Pisco’.
Pisco is now the national drink of Peru and comes in two sorts - ‘sipping Pisco’ for the palate without additives, and ‘rough Pisco’, best used for the famous Pisco Sour.
Thomas Fernandez, Iceberg-Thai Co. Ltd., hosted a demonstration and a Pisco Sour tasting at the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort on Friday February 29. Horeca is the supplier of Pisco to Northern Thailand.

Guests of honour meet His Excellency Mr Carlos Velasco Mendiola,
Ambassador of the Republic of Peru (4th from the right).

H.E. Mr Carlos Velasco Mendiola, The Ambassador of the Republic
of Peru invites the ladies to sample Pisco Sour. How could they refuse?

Dr George Sioris (Ambassador of Greece a.h.), Dararat Sioris,
 Eleanor Hardy (G.M. The Chedi) and Nick Bauer (G.M. The Imperial Mae Ping).

Lubosh Bahta, Resort Manager Four Seasons, welcomes H.E.
 Mr Carlos Velasco Mendiola, The Ambassador of the Republic of Peru,
and Luis Felipe Llosa, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Peru (left).

Lots of different nationalities met at the Pisco night at the Chedi;
 Arvind, Heather, Naina and Shannon (l/r).


Chiang Mai Music Festival - a mesmerizing performance

No longer a well-kept secret!

Staff reporter
The success of the third Chiang Mai Music Festival Concert, held on Saturday, February 23, assured all concerned - performers, organizers and the audience - that it can no longer be considered, in the words of co-founder Anne Murase, ‘one of the city’s best kept secrets’. On this occasion a large crowd of music lovers turned out to hear what must be considered music making of the highest quality.

Jae-Hee Chang, 8th grade, plays Schumann’s Allegro in B Minor, Op. 8.
Although the highlight of the evening proved to be the finale, a mesmerizing performance of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 3 for Cello and Piano, played by Dong-Oo Lee, (cello), and Tong-Il Han, (piano), all that preceded it was of fine quality.
The opening pieces were played by students, and brilliant they proved. Jae-Hee Chang gave us Schumann’s sprightly Allegro in B Minor, followed by Seol-Hwa Kim tackling Brahms’s virtuoso Paganini Variations (Book 2). Chung-Ho Lee ended the first half with a memorable performance of Schumann’s substantial work, Carnaval, Op. 9.
In a judicious piece of programming, their teacher, Sun-Kyung Lee, herself a former pupil of Tong-Il Han, gave an elegant rendition of Chopin’s Ballade No. 3, Opus 47. Like all the players, she battled successfully against the open air elements at the Ban Wangtan Resort, including the odd aircraft. The mood of the concert was, however, so relaxed that any distractions were readily forgiven. This was in large part due to the infectious enthusiasm of the principal performer, Tong-Il Han, whose love of the music and unforced admiration for his colleagues and students spilled over to the enthusiastic listeners.
The performers had the advantage of an excellent Yamaha piano, generously transported by the makers from Bangkok, just one aspect of the material help on which the growing success of the festival depends. Amazingly, admission was free and the whole evening was run by voluntary organizers. Chiang Mai is lucky to have a festival of this quality amongst its cultural highlights, so let’s hope that this now regular event builds on its current success.
Further information can be found on www.chiangmai musicfestival.com, where details of the festival’s short history and its other activities in local schools are given.

Yosuke Harima, vice-president of Yamaha Thailand, with Prof. Anne Murase,
 co-founder and planning director of the CM Music Festival.

Tong-Il Han, piano, with Dong-Oo Lee, cello. Page turning is Sun-Kyung Lee,
 pupil of Tong-Il Han, and graduate Doctor of Music,
 herself a noted soloist and University Dean.

Tong-Il Han, Dong-Oo Lee, Jae-Hee Chang, Seol-Hwa Kim,
Chung-Ho Lee, and Sun-Kyung Lee.