Art, Music & Culture
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A mixed bag of entertainment at Payap

Galerie Panisa to show works by two established Thai artists

The 4th Annual Chiang Mai Music Festival

 

A mixed bag of entertainment at Payap

Jean-Pierre Kirkland
Entitled ‘Kokoro and Love Relationship Concert,’ the department of music at Payap University provided us recently with a very unusual mixture of music. The ensemble from Japan included a vocalist/guitarist, the young Yoshiba, a singer and pianist Kobayashi, with additional guitar and vocal support from Chookiat, a Thai student studying in Japan with a Thai friend, Warawut. The concert opened on guitar with a passionate rendering of three songs by Yoshiba, although his voice was stretched to its limits at times. The guitar playing of Chookiat was lyrical and tender in parts and many of the songs were most pleasant, some sounding very like the love ballads of veteran American folk singer Tom Paxton. The director of the show, Niihara Keiko also sang a couple of ballads, one of them unaccompanied, which she performed in a gracious and expressive manner.
But the real star of the show was the deaf pianist, Kobayashi. Smartly dressed and with shoulder-length hair reminiscent of conductor Kent Nagano, he played several pieces by Chopin with a wonderfully light-fingered and yet strident interpretation. Among his repertoire, this young and very talented pianist gave us a heart-rendering and emotionally captivating performance of the Chopin ‘Marche Funèbre’ where the central section was played with amazing sensitivity and control – all the more so when remembering the performer’s deafness. This was a real treat and the audience was privileged to be present and to hear such a fine performance. Kobayashi also played a technically difficult and brilliant Alpine piano piece entitled ‘Alpenglühen’ which allowed him to show off his great versatility with rushing arpeggios and its warmer compassionate moments where his balance between pianissimo and forte was startling. It came as no surprise to discover that last year this able and gifted man won the Gold Medal in the Piano Paralympics.

 

Galerie Panisa to show works by two established Thai artists

Elena Edwards
30 works of printing and painting by two long-established Thai artists will be on show at Galerie Panisa’s latest exhibition, due to run from November 10 to December 8.
On display will be prints by Pongdej Chaikrutre, who has more than 30 years’ experience in this field. They will focus on 15th and 16th century events in Thai history, and relate to current society in a mocking, criticising or story-telling manner.
Srijai Kantawang, with more than 20 years’ experience in the same genre, will be exhibiting her prints and a selection of her Lanna paintings, for which she is also well-known. Her subjects will be expressed in a contemporary manner, and will represent Lanna folk tales. All of her works to be shown at this exhibition will be on display for the first time.
The exhibition’s opening ceremony will be presided over by Prof Dr Tawan Kangwanpong, the vice chairman of Chiang Mai’s University Council, and will take place at the gallery on November 10 at 6 p.m. For more information call 053-202-779.


The 4th Annual Chiang Mai Music Festival

Michael Davies
The 4th Annual Chiang Mai Music Festival will be held on Saturday February 7, 2009, and will take place at Ban Wangtang Club’s concert stage in Hang Dong district.
Anne Murase, the festival’s planning director, told the Chiang Mai Mail that the concert will feature Professor Tong Il-Han, who will accompany four students in an evening of four great romantic piano concertos by Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Rachmaninoff.
Tong-Il Han has performed with many of the finest orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Russian National Symphony Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Bernard Haitink, Herbert Blomstedt, Edo de Waart, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, Lukas Foss, Eugene Jochum, Raymond Leppard, Robert Shaw, Stanislaw Skrowaczeski, and David Zinman. The government of the Republic of Korea has awarded him their highest civil serviced award, the Order of Moran (Peony).
Tong-Il Han’s many records include Chopin’s twenty-four Preludes, four ballades and four scherzos, eight sonatas by Beethoven (including the last five), sonatas by Schubert and Brahms, and a group of shorter piano works under the title “Music I Love to play.” He also has recorded sonatas for cello and piano by Brahms, and Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces with cellist Leslie Parnas. A CD entitled “The Kennedy White House Concert” has also been released, and includes Han’s live performance of Debussy’s “Reflet dans l’eau” and Liszt’s “Mephisto Waltz”.
Prior to the free concert in Hang Dong, free workshops in conjunction with the Payap Youth Program are planned, together with workshops and teaching at various educational establishments around Chiang Mai, all of which will be open to the general public.
Transport will be available from Chiang Mai to and from the concert for 100 baht; reservations can be made on [email protected] New for this year’s event will be a set Thai menu, available at 200 baht including soft drinks for those who wish to eat in the clubhouse prior to the concert. Again, reservations are required.
The concert’s open-air venue seats 200 – reservations are strongly advised, with preferred seating on a first come-first served basis. For further information, please visit www.chiangmai musicfestival.com, which will be updated as further details are confirmed. Local companies, especially restaurants, who would like to sponsor the concert should contact Anne on [email protected] earthlink.net. This is surely an event not to be missed – music lovers should reserve their seats as soon as possible.