Utrecht: the Roman city of cyclists

In 2006, I moved to Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, eager to join the cyclists on the streets of cobblestones. For the previous two years I was commuting from Bussum, a village of 10,000, by train to Utrecht and by foot to Utrecht Conservatory. Continue reading

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Solo piano concert: tribute to the music of James Horner

When I learned of the plane crash yesterday, I immediately searched for the film music of James Horner. Still in shock, I quickly assembled a blog post on the theme from the Titanic. In the spur of that moment, I decided to give a solo piano concert of his music to share with local audiences here. Continue reading

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Dad’s favorite songs

Tower Bridge, London 2001

The third Sunday in June is declared for Father’s Day, first celebrated in 1910 in the USA but not proclaimed as such until years later.

Coincidentally, June 21st is also Summer Solstice, the longest day in the year, and thus a very important milestone for those who have traversed the long winter months. It’s the one day in the year that I’d target a concert.

On Maui, every day is a warm summer day. I stopped celebrating summer solstice because it’s an endless summer no matter which day it is.

Instead, I shall look for my dad’s favorite songs.

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A song for dad: diamonds and rust

My dad never hesitated to share titles of the songs he loved. In his last years, he took a liking to Youtube. One of his favorite singers was Joan Baez. Continue reading

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Somewhere in time before iPhones

Before the iPhone, the video quality was not high definition.

Before the iPhone, I wore a watch regularly. Sure, I always took it off whenever I practised the piano.

Here is a video taken before I got my smartphone. It seems strange to see my left hand wearing a watch. The original blog post appeared in Concertblog.

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Celebrating 300,000 visitors to Concertblog

My first WordPress blog “The Concertblog” passed the 300,000 visitor mark some time last week. Yay! When it hit 299,000, I started to monitor the stats more closely than before. These are number of visitors, not views. A visitor can have many page views but ONE visit to the site. Continue reading

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Classical guitar: intimate, personal, and vulnerable

There is something intimate, personal, and vulnerable about sharing a space with a musician — unplugged. Such is the case of experiencing the classical guitar, which is a rare thing on Maui. Once a year Ben Verdery draws students and audiences worldwide to come to this tropical paradise to celebrate this instrument.

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Jukebox Piano Class: Stand By Me for Easy Piano

I should call my piano classes “Jukebox Piano Class” because I take requests. Nothing motivates a new musician more than being able to play something he or she likes.

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Elegant but easy to play music from “Still Alice”

I listened to the soundtrack to the film “Still Alice” on Youtube because I missed its premiere at the Maui Film Festival last December. I became mesmerized by the simplicity and beauty of the various short pieces played on piano, violin, viola, and cello.

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How to write music people want to play

Times have changed. Perhaps it’s instant gratification of search engines and the availability of free online videos. To write sheet music that people want to play, it has to be readable, printable, and recognizable.

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