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A Rising Star – Han Nah Son in recital

Han Nah Son is a rising star in the musical world.

By Jai Pee
Han Nah Son, the Korean born and now local pianist treated a reasonable sized audience to a dazzling display of her pianistic skills at Payap University on Friday January 18th. Han Nah presented the former Friends of Music Making in Chiang Mai with another superb performance almost 2 years ago – she had just completed her Master’s Degree at Mahidol University when she played the piano arrangement of three pieces from Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, Petruska – these three pieces were arranged especially for the great pianist Artur Rubenstein by the composer himself in 1921. They are challenging and technically very demanding. That year, Han Nah played them beautifully and it came as no great surprise to learn that having been accepted on a Doctoral Degree course at Boston (USA) College of Music, the college authorities chose one of those pieces to be performed by Han Nah at the opening of the new semester Convention – what an honor for Han Nah and for Thailand! Since then Han Nah has come a long way in 18 months. Her technical skills have been almost perfected so that at Payap University she gave us a wonderful display of magnificent craftsmanship. Her interpretation of L’Orage from Franz Liszt’s Les Années de Pélerinage was incredible – Han Nah was able to balance the more wistful and reflective moments of this highly challenging piece with the helter-skelter episodes that she performed with a dexterity and determination that was nothing short of magnificent. In three of the romantic and very beautiful pieces from Brahms’s Opus 118 Klavierstücke, Han Nah showed us that practice makes perfect. The second of these pieces is a wonderfully lyrical intermezzo in A major – many pianists choose to wallow in deep sentimentality when they play this piece, and as a result they lose its basic message – simplicity and delicacy - which are foremost and supreme – and Han Nah did just the right thing – from the opening three notes that form the basis of the intoxicating melody Han Nah captured every nuance and subtle intonation – it was an elegant and forceful performance, and one to remember for a long time.
Today there are so many would-be concert pianists all trying their best to break into what has become one of the most highly competitive markets in the musical world. Through determined practice, fine-tuning of technical skill and a deep appreciation of the beauty of the piano that comes from her wide experiences in competitions and performances in Russia, Malaysia, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and here in Thailand, Han Nah is showing all the positive signs of becoming a world class performer. This was confirmed as Han Nah played part of the immensely difficult and technically challenging Piano Sonata No 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff – even the composer himself revised this work to make it more accessible and less difficult, and other great pianists such as Vladimir Horowitz have amended the original – whatever, Han Nah Son gave us a frighteningly dynamic interpretation that was so thrilling and vibrant it was difficult to imagine that we were sitting in a small recital room in Thailand and not sitting in New York’s Carnegie Hall or London’s Wigmore Hall. All in all, this was an excellent performance from a rapidly rising star. What a shame so many of Chiang Mai’s so-called music lovers were not there to hear her perform. They missed something very special!

 


CMPG’s 5th annual exhibition

Lone Dog by Olga Leskiw

By Shana Kongmun
One of the most diverse and interesting photo exhibits of the year is coming up again at Central Airport Plaza and is, in my opinion, a show that is not to be missed. This time it is located on the 4th floor next to the glass elevator. That is, of course, the wonderful collection of photos taken and compiled by the Chiang Mai Photographic Club. A club that shows the true diversity and talent of Chiang Mai.
Always stunning, often thought provoking or even awe inducing, these well travelled people have an eye for seeing the world around them that many so lack. Be sure and drop in for the opening on January 26 at 4 p.m. or visit the exhibit every day from January 26- February 10.


Contemporary Lanna

Waewdao Sirisook continues in her tradition of telling real Lanna myths and stories, this time performing the life of her mother to her beautiful dances. “Khun Dee” is the memory of a 35 year-old looking to a 65 year-old life, performing the care, tension, joy, and desire of wanting to be with her in this life and the next. Waewdao drew inspiration from her mother’s life for the performance, her mother grew up in Lampang, with Waewdao as the youngest of 3 children. There will also be a piece of a flower arranging as an installation in the reception area titled “ mother and child” by Opas Yarcammee. Sat-Sun, February 9-10, 2013, 7pm. Ma Chere Chiang Mai Art Space, just off the Second Ring Road in between the Mae On Road and the San Kamphaeng Road.Tickets: 300 TB, 150 TB (students).


Provincial Red Cross fundraiser held by Four Seasons and H.E. Admiral M.L. Usni Pramoj

By Shana Kongmun
I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing H.E. Admiral M.L. Usni Pramoj and his quintet perform on two separate occasions and both times were just amazing. Their classical pieces are performed not only with skill and depth but with emotion and passion. This year they will be playing at the Four Seasons on Friday, February 1, 2013.

H.E. Admiral M.L. Usni Pramoj will be performing at the annual Four Seasons fundraiser for the Provincial Red Cross.

H.E. Admiral M.L. Usni Pramoj, who frequently played with HM the King, plays the viola while Tasana Nagavajara is on the violin, Siripong Tiptan on the violin, Kittikhun Sodprasert on the cello, and in a new twist this year, Yos Vaneesorn on the clarinet, which should be fabulous.
The program consists of Clarinet Quintet in A major, K.581 by Mozart, and String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op. 73 by Shostakovich. The first year I saw them perform they performed the Admiral’s own composition “Threnody” a beautifully, haunting piece he composed upon the death of HRH Princess Galyana Vadhana. I was fortunate to hear it in person and can only hope he performs it again.
The evening starts at 5:30 pm with a cocktail reception, followed by the hour-long concert in the Resort’s Rachawadee Residence. Tickets for the concert are available with a minimum donation of THB 850.00, including entry to the concert as well as the cocktail reception. Ticket holders will also be eligible to enter a prize draw for weekend stays, Spa treatments and cooking classes at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.


Documentary Arts Festival looks forward to its second year

The Chiang Mai Documentary Arts Festival (CDAF) is an annual photography and film festival designed to serve the growing number of people interested in documentary arts in Thailand and Asia. It is the first event of its kind in Thailand and was founded by DAA in 2012 with the financial assistance of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. Included in this year’s program are an exhibition by Shahidul Alam; a commissioned group photo project by Greenpeace International; an Asian women photographer’s showcase curated by Yumi Goto; a showcase of contemporary work by Kashmiri photojournalists curated by Emaho Magazine; a group exhibition of Documentary Arts Asia’s student work from Kachin State, Burma; and new work by Ekkarat Punyatara (National Geographic Thailand) on Thai monks in New York City. Held February 8-14 at Chiang Mai University Art Museum, the Baan Tuek Art Center and the Documentary Arts Asia gallery.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

A Rising Star – Han Nah Son in recital

CMPG’s 5th annual exhibition

Contemporary Lanna

Provincial Red Cross fundraiser held by Four Seasons and H.E. Admiral M.L. Usni Pramoj

Documentary Arts Festival looks forward to its second year