Dan Poenaru

Dan Poenaru

Last night Dan Poenaru played a piano recital at the AUA Language Center Auditorium in Chiang Mai. The concert was in association with the Goethe Institute in Bangkok and presented by D. M. Music Studio.

The following is copied from the programme notes.

Born in Bucharest Romania, Dan began studying the piano at the George Enescu College of Music in the Rumanian capital and won the special price of the jury in the national contest of interpretation, for the execution of the concerto for piano and orchestra of Paul Constantinescu at the age of 15. He continued his musical studies at the conservatory of his birthplace and graduated with honours.

At the beginning of the ’80th, he continued to perfect his play with the Argentinean pianist Eduardo Vercelli, in Geneva, Switzerland, (he acquired Swiss nationality a few years later) and obtained the Diploma of Virtuosity at the Academy of Neuchâtel.

His international career as a soloist started in Switzerland and later brought him to Germany (with Rachmaninov 3rd concerto), Russia and other Eastern European countries and to China.

He recorded CD’s with compositions by Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Franck and Mussorski.

The critics praise him highly for combining “power, tenderness and sensitivity”. His repertory ranges from Scarlatti to Samuel Barber, and from the baroque period to the 20th century. He particularly loves the romantic composers of the 19th century like Schubert, Brahms, Chopin and Liszt.

The excellent programme: consisted of

Schubert: Sonata Op. 120

Chopin: Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise Brillante Op. 22

Ravel:: Pavane pour une infante defunte

Balakirev: Oriental Fantasy “Islamey”

Schumann: Fantasy Op. 17

 While he played with great sensitivity at times, at other times he really pounded the keyboard with his powerful style

A large, maily Thai, audience supported the concert. A group of students fro the Chiang Mai University was there.They had an assignment to write a review.

An excellent concert played with professional flair.

Merry Christmas

At the left is a pic of Christmas presents floating on the moat in Chiang Mai. Although a Buddhist country, the city dresses up for Christman. Decorations and Christmas trees are everywhere.. All the stores are playing Christmas music.

A Merry Christmas and a Hapy New Year to all my blog readers.

Below are some Aussie Christmas nostalgia videos.

Christmas Tree in a Chiang Mai Bowling Alley


Christmas in my Apartment






Last night the Dining Out Group ate at the Fuji Japanese restaurant. Although it is fairly large, it is also very popular, particularly with Japanese expats. When we arrived we had to wait for our tables!

Fuji have restaurants all over Thailand.There are other branches in Chiang Mai.The one we went to is located on level 4 of Central Airport Plaza. Traffic and parking last night was a nightmare.

I don’t normally care for Japanese food. Last night I ordered a tempura set with a side of mushrooms and I must say, it was delicious. As well there was a range of other side interesting mystery dishes and sauces.Maybe I will be a little more adventurous next time I order Japanese! Everybody’s meals looked great.

All in all a very pleasant dining experience and highly reccommended..

At the bottom of this post is a video of a family group dining at Fuji.

Roving Photographer....Thanks Nop


Spotless Open Kitchen


My Tempura


Poppy's Meal


My Table


Part of Our Group

More of Our Group






Nina Leosawasthiphong

Nina Leo

Nina Leosawasthiphong (aka as Nina Leo), for obvious reasons, is originally from Chiang Mai. She studied piano here under Dr. Bennett Lerner at the Payap University.

Nina is now based in London where she pursues her international career.

Last night she performed a recital at the Santi School of Music, for the Friends of Music Making in Chiang Mai. She last played here about a year ago.

Nina seemed to be in complete control of the piano and she played a superb programme with great skill and sensitivity.The concert will be repeated tonight.

I really like the intimate atmosphere of the recital room at Santi, but it is spoiled by uncomfortable seating.



Click to read Nina's Biography


Claude Debussy

The programme consisted of

Debussy Suite Bergamasque

1 Prelude

2 Menuet

3 Clair de lune

4 Passepied

Debussy L’Isle Joyeuse

Gluck / Sgambati Melodie

Schubert Impromptu No. 3 i G flat major (D899)

Chopin Ballade no. 4 in F minor

It was pleasing to see her perform a recital in her home city. Her parents were in the audience.

JP, the convenor of Friends, gave an interesting pre-concert lecture about Schubert.

Here is a video of a beautiful version Clair de lune  played by an unknown artist

Travel Club

The speaker at last night’s Travel Club meeting at the Sangdee Gallery was Mike, who worked as an entainer on cruise ships for 20 years.

He is a vocalist and guitar player. Mike mainly worked on large luxury liners and entainers were allotted suite cabins. It was an exciting if at times lonely life.

So he travelled the world and visited many ports. His talk was illustrated with many pictures of ports and other entainers.






Sausage King

Making Pies

Slicing Bacon

I buy stuff from Sausage King. The proprietors are an English guy, Rob, and his Thai wife, Amy. It is a busy outlet and they both work very hard.

Their factory is at Sansai in Chiang Mai. They have a large range of mainly western foods. Members of the ThaiVisa forum receive a 10% discount and they will deliver locally if required.

I went there on Saturday because it is hot pie day.They had  hot Pork Pies, Sausage Rolls, Indian Curry Pies and a few other pies. I bought a steak and onion pie for lunch as well as a bunch of other stuff, including  fruit mince pies for Christmas. My freezer is now restocked.

The factory is very clean with stainless steel working areas


Hot Pies

Diners Enjoying the 99 Baht Breakfast

David Placing an Order with Amy

Rob Outside Airconditioned Factory

Farewell Chris

Garden at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep


Christian (Chris) Postma was a Dutchman living with his wife Mathilde (Matilda)  in Chiang Mai. They both enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle here.

About a year ago Chris was diagnosed with leukemia. He eventually succumbed to the disease and died on the 1st of December in the hospital at the McKean Rehabilition Centre.

There was a private cremation for him at the crematorium located in the grounds of McKean.

Chris and Matilda were both popular with our group and we dined with them regularly. We will all miss Chris with his quiet demeanour and great sense of humour.

His wishes were that his ashes be scattered at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, overlooking Chiang Mai, the city he loved.

Matilda Scattering Ashes

Our Group before Leaving Chiang Mai



Our Group at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

City View

So a group of us ventured up the mountain on Thursday for a simple ceremony. It was a clear day with a great view over the city.

Here Is an article from the Bangkok Post about Christian Postma.

As usual, I forgot my camera. Thanks for the photos, Brian.

Rest In Peace, Chris




Dutch Friends

Me Scattering Ashes

New Printer

Old Epson R230

New Epson T60

Yesterday I bought a new printer. It was an Epson T60 which  replaces my aging Epson E230. The old printer seemed to require regular servicing so I thought it was time to pension it off!

It seems to be excellent for colour printing and also prints CD’s like my old one. It also prints much faster.

I asked them to add a bank of large external ink tanks, which are available here.

External Ink Tanks


The Many Sounds Of Christmas

The Chiang Mai Community Chorus presented a “Many Sounds of Christmas” concert at the Harris Auditorium of Prince Royal’s College, last night. The aim was to raise funds to buy an extra defibrillator for the Chiang Mai Neurological Hospital.

Click here for  Programme Notes.

The choir is an international group of western and asian voices. They are not really professionals but a group who enjoy singing together.

They were founded by the well known pianist Sid Richardson and conducted by Pitijet (Xavier) Vichitporn. Several vocal and insrtumental solosists were included in the programme.

Unfortunately the evening was spoiled by too many speeches. The choir while adequate did not have enough light and shade in their performance.