English Blog

Piano Concert “Romance on Piano” Sat. 2/17 at 4pm

February 15, 2018

I am excited to perform this program this Saturday, 2/17 at 4pm, as a part of the concert series 3rd@1st. I have been coordinating this series and it is the 4th season! I am delighted to see the increase of audience and I really appreciate to all of donors to support the series. Thank you!!

The program will include Schumann: Davidsbundlertanze, Liszt: Rigoletto Paraphrase, Brahms: Klavierstucke Op. 118, and Chopin: Andante spianato et Grand Polonaise brillante, Op. 22. (Please forgive me I did not add German accents) I will share anecdotes and my personal attachment to the pieces during the concert. I hope you can join me to meet Schumann, Liszt, Brahms and Chopin! (http://fumcpasadena.org/news-events/thirdfirst/)

Ash Wednesday, beginning of the Holy Lenten Season

February 15, 2018

Prayer (based on a prayer by St. Ambrose of Milan)

O Lord, who has mercy on all, heal me, renew me, reconfigure me. Mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit, O God. Take away from me the heart of stone. Give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, to delight in you, to follow and enjoy you, for Christ’ sake, Amen.

Bernstein “Mass” with Dudamel and LA Phil 2/3/18

February 3, 2018

Bernstein himself arranged 3 meditations from “Mass” for cello and piano, and I have played it for several occasions. Now things make more sense to me after attending the dress rehearsal of “Mass” at Disney Concert Hall with Dudamel, LA Phil, LA Master Chorale, LA Children’s Chorus, UCLA Wind Ensemble Players (marching band), 22 singers, 7 dancers, and 158 props and 6 stage set pieces! It is totally extravaganza! Bernstein composed ‘Mass” in 1971 in the time of confusion in America. He combined avant-garde attitude, rock band, Broadway style songs and music, organ and electric keyboards, and so many effects and craziness! From the first note I was mesmerized by the massiveness and saturated stage! There are so much to observe simultaneously. Bernstein is of course so genius to create this new approach in music, using “Mass” (religious service) to voice out the struggle in the society. The production is just amazing, so colorful and so much energy! I loved it! Also all of musicians and singers are fantastic.  But once the excitement is receding we start to listen music more closely, every note and every word. And we will face to ourselves, “What is this??” This massiveness is so related to the saturated society where we live currently. Where is the truth?

Movie “In The Fade (Aus dem Nichts)” 1/15/18

January 15, 2018

Katja (Diane Kruger) suddenly lost everything, her husband, Nuri, and little son, Rocco, with a bomb attack setting in front of Nuri’s office. Her friends and family try to give her the support she needs, and Katja manages through difficulty (with the help of drugs…). Eventually she set herself to revenge the killers. Well…. it is really amazing to see Diane Kruger’s committed and emotional work. Also the theme “hate crime” is appealing. But the story is not convincing, and there are many moments I had questions. Why does her trial lawyer give her drugs before the trial, putting both of them in very vulnerable situation? Why could ex-drug dealer (her husband) get a very descent and independent office and could afford a fancy car and fancy house while Katja is a full-time mother? There are much more questions!

Christmas Prayer with “Christmas Night” by John Rutter 12/25/17

December 25, 2017

Softly through the winter’s darkness shines a light,

Clear and still in Bethlehem on Christmas Night

Round the stable where a virgin mother mild

Watches over Jesus Christ the holy child.


Shepherds kneel in adoration by his bed,

Seraphim in glory hover round his head.

Wise men, guided by the leading of a star,

Bring him gifts of precious treasure from afar.


Choirs of angels sing to greet his wondrous birth:

Christ our Lord in human form comes down to earth.

“Glory to God in highest heav’n” their joyful strain,

“Peace on earth, goodwill to all” the glad refrain.


Lullaby! the child lies sleeping: sing lullaby!

Safe in Mary’s tender keeping: sing lullaby!

Guardian angels keep their watch till break of day:

Lullaby! sweet Jesus sleeps among the hay.


Alleluia! let the earth rejoice today!

Christ is born to take our sins and guilt away.

Praise the Lord who sent him down from heav’n above.

Holy infant, born of God the Father’s love.



A Movie “The Disaster Artist” 12/11/17

December 11, 2017

If you want to laugh out during a crazy holiday season please see this movie. I guarantee you will laugh hard! It is unbelievable that this movie is truly (!) based on the true story! You have to see it!

A Movie “1945” 11/30/17

November 30, 2017

Directed by Ferenc Török, and written by Ferenc Török and Gabor Szántó, a movie “1945” is in a black-and-white drama set with the immediate postwar period in rural Hungary. It is in minimalistic and beautiful color. This adaptation of the short story “the Homecoming from co-screenwriter Gabor Szántó depicts how a town feels about having moved into the homes and started eating off the beautiful plates and using the ornate utensils of the Jews that vanished during the WWII. On an August day in 1945, villagers are busy preparing for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews, elderly father and adult son, arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled “fragrances.” The station sheriff rushed to the village and told the town clerk. The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village’s deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back. Other villagers are afraid more survivors will come, posing a threat to the property and possessions they have claimed as their own.

I don’t want to go over everything. Tibor Szemzö’s music adds an important element in the movie, reminding me Bloch’s music. It is definitely one of the best movies of the year. I am still moved…




A Movie “Aida’s Secret” 11/6/17

November 6, 2017

Directed by Alon Schwarz and co-directed by his brother Shaul, the film is about the family torn apart after WWII. There is Izak Szewelewicz, a 68-year-old gardener, born inside the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp and sent for adoption in Israel. Since then he has been living in Israel. His brother Shep, 67, who was visually impaired from birth and has been blind, living in Winnipeg, Canada. Their mother Aida, 90, lives in a nursing home in Quebec and their (!?) father, Grisza, died in 2008. Shep knew Grisza, but Izak never met him. Izak knew their mother, Aida, but Shep never met her. The father was Jewish, and the mother was not. Both were born in Poland and both found themselves in the Bergen-Belsen displaced person’s camp after the war, where Izak and Shep were born. Aida and Grisza never married officially. Aida gave the boys up for adaption when they were still babies.

The brothers meet again the first time since the adaption, and started their investigation to search the secret around their birth with their mother, Aida. Izak and Shep went a nursing home to meet Aida. It was the first time to see Aida for Shep! She is 90 years old. Through their investigation Shep and Izak found that they are only half brothers and found there would be another brother, who has been living in Canada, not far away from where Shep has been living. But this brother refused to meet with them.

Shep visits Aida’s nursing home to ask her questions about their father. She answers simply “I don’t remember, I don’t remember.” Maybe that is true. But it seems she keeps a poker face. Also she said “I did my best to survive the situation.” I think that is very true. And she dies carrying her secrets to the heaven.

It is a very strong film, but I am against it. Aida’s secrets should not be searched from the beginning. She wanted to keep her secrets in her mind. She did not want anyone to know them. She gave up her children when they were babies and has lived her way. She did not expect her estranged children to visit her and reconnect with her. The film opened the unwanted door and no one can close this door…



J. S. Bach Keyboard Concerto No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1054

October 18, 2017

I have been truly enjoying to learn this joyful concerto. Bach may have played it with his Collegium Musicum in Leipzig, or possible with Family Ensemble at his house (!) in 1738-9. The first movement is a full Da Capo Form, starting with jubilant spirit and fanfare-like tutti! It is lot of fun! That is sure. The second movement is chaconne, keyboard right hand portraits expressive and singing line over the basso continuo. Also this beautiful melody is improvisatory, inviting us to add our own ornamentations. The last movement is a sun-shine (really fun!!) movement with pianists’ fast fingers. Yes, there are many notes to play! This movement is very short, about 2 and 1/2 minutes, and I imagine Bach had a deadline to finish this work! When he put the music on the music stands the ink may not had been dried yet!

If you will be free this Saturday October 21 at 4pm please join me to experience J. S. Bach’s amazing gift. The venue will be at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena.

Movie “The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg” 7/29/17

July 29, 2017

This movie goes through the recent Chinese history, especially Chinese contemporary arts, with Sigg’s experience with China. Sigg was working for Schindler Escalator and Elevator Company and he was hoping to set up the first joint ventures between Chinese government and his company in 1979, in the post-Mao era. After he finished his assignment with Schindler he was assigned to become an Swiss ambassador to China, and he started to collect Chinese contemporary arts, mainly for his official residence first. And eventually he built a world-class personal collection of Chinese contemporary arts. He introduced talented young artists to the world, and their arts became so popular and so expensive (!). So he advocated to Chinese arts and artists, Ai Weiwei, and in return (!) his collection became so valuable. Sigg is an interesting person, who has been super successful in commercial company, as a diplomat, as an art collector and as a human being! Sigg shows and talks to us about a hidden side of a complex and mysterious country.