10 Feb 2018


Discovered a new fruit today, in Bangkok: Salak. I quite like its taste. Its Thai name is สละ, botanical name Salacca zalacca.

29 Aug 2013

Blues to Bop 2013 – The Rob Paparozzi Trio

On Stage in Piazza Dante. Dave Keyes at the keyboard. He and the drummer joined us for drinks after their performance.

Blues to Bop 2013 -- Iris Moné

I started this evening of Blues to Bob in Piazza San Rocco, listening to Iris Moné and her band.

30 Sep 2012

Concert at CSI

Just returned from a lovely concert at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. I was puzzled by the two winged figures in the picture on the front cover of the programme leaflet, until I realised that they are from Boticelli's painting Birth of Venus, probably chosen because these two figures are blowing air, the concert being one of wind instruments.

The entire leaflet with details of the concert, the director and the musicians is here: http://goo.gl/83EVb

1 Aug 2011

Incredible football kick

This is quite unique: with one kick the ball hits both goal posts.

28 Jun 2011

estivaLugano: Gruppo Mandolinistico Gandria

The "Gruppo Mandolinistico Gandria" performed a beautiful concert of a wide variety of musical pieces in Piazza San Carlo in Lugano on Tuesday. Most enjoyable.

From the progamme:
Concert of the Gandria Mandolin Group, founded in 1976 with the intention of diffusing the mandolin tradition. The repertoire includes original pieces for pizzicato and classical pieces.

25 Jun 2011

estivaLugano 2011: Rancho Folclórico Regiões de Portugual

The Portuguese folkloristic group Rancho Folclórico Regiões de Portugual gave an open-air performance in Lugano tonight as part of the estivaLugano cultural events offered free of charge by the city of Lugano.

22 Jun 2011

Concert in Lugano: Maristella Patuzzi

On Sunday evening I went to the violin concert at the Lugano Conservatory of Music. Of the three pieces performed by Maristella Patuzzi, I liked the the  String Quintet in C major by F. Schubert best.

17 May 2011

Concert in Lugano

It was at a nice concert in Lugano, performed by students of the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. At the request of a spokesperson for the student association I am not uploading a video to YouTube.

7 May 2011

Svizzera in movimento

I walked in this year's competition of "Switzerland moves", a most enjoyable hike. Got lost a couple of times, but found my way again quickly. I recorded my track and uploaded it here on Google maps.

It is an annual event promoted by the Federal Office for Sport to motivate people to do physical exercise for the benefit of good health. The population of several neighbouring municipalities compete for a symbolic trophy.

6 May 2011

Hike on Monti di Medeglia

Went for a short hike yesterday, 6.4 km (4 miles), with a friend on the west slope of Monti di Medeglia near Rivera, Ticino, Switzerland. I uploaded the recorded track here on Google Maps.

25 Apr 2011

Wild strawberries

I picked the first wild strawberry in the garden today. Delicious!

23 Apr 2011

The arrogance of authority

Got a good joke forwarded to me today:

A DEA officer stopped at a ranch in Texas and talked with an old rancher. He told the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs."

The rancher said, "Okay, but don't go in that field over there.....", as he pointed out the location.

The DEA officer verbally exploded saying, "Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me !"

Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher. "See this badge?! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish.... On any land !! No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear......do you understand ?!!"

The rancher nodded politely, apologized, and went about his chores.

A short time later, the old rancher heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by the rancher's big Santa Gertrudis bull......

With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he'd sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified.

The rancher threw down his tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of his lungs.....
"Your badge, show him your BADGE........ ! !"

20 Apr 2011

Robert Schumann: Quintet, op. 44

Note added on 17 May 2011

- - - -  D E L E T E D  - - - - 

At the request of a spokesperson for the student association I deleted my video on YouTube and consequently also my comments here.

Darius Milhaud: Suite, op. 157b

Note added on 17 May 2011

- - - -  D E L E T E D  - - - - 

At the request of a spokesperson for the student association I deleted my video on YouTube and consequently also my comments here.

Concert in Lugano

The second concert in this year's series of six concerts organised by the student association of the Lugano Conservatory of Music was performed splendidly. The programme is unfortunately not available online but on request I received it by email and this PDF file can be viewed here.

The concert comprised:
  1. Darius Milhaud: Suite for violin, clarinet and piano, op. 157b
  2. Edvard Grieg: Lieder (6), op. 48
  3. Robert Schumann: Quintet for two violins, viola, cello and piano in E flat major, op. 44
I video-recorded the first and third part of the concert and will upload the videos to YouTube later today or tomorrow. Gloria de Piante Vicin, whose photo I show above, played the piano in the Robert Schuman quintet.

9 Apr 2011

Hike on Monte San Clemente

Back in Switzerland, I went for a hike with a friend today on Monte San Clemente, which is really just a hill. The little church on top was under repair and the photo I am attaching is from last year's visit to that place. I recorded the hike and put it here on Google Maps.

24 Jan 2011

Buying mangos at Chatuchak fruit market.

The only problem is the limited weight allowance of 20 kg on the flight to Switzerland.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5 (subsequently edited)

5 Jan 2011

Bhumipol bridge in Bangkok

Two days ago, on my way to the dentist, I was for the first time driven accross the Bhumipol bridge that was opened for traffic in September 2006. Very impressive construction.

1 Jan 2011

Happy New Year 2011

Best wishes to my readers for good health and happiness in the New Year. In Bangkok, Thailand at the moment I went for a dinner cruise on the Chaophraya river with friends, followed by viewing the fireworks display at midnight.

17 Nov 2010

Visa for Thailand

I sent my passport off to the Thai consulate in Zurich on Saturday and got it back today with the tourist visa for which I had applied. The visa itself was free but I had to pay an administrative fee of CHF 10.00

5 Nov 2010

Bird box

Cleaned the bird box in the Kiwi tree this afternoon. I see that I did not close the latch. Better go and do it right away.

29 Oct 2010


Remember the grasshopper I mentioned yesterday? Here are three video scenes with him as the leading actor.

Scene 2   Scene 3

Kiwi harvest

Just finished harvesting the Kiwis in my garden. Quite a lot this year.

28 Oct 2010

Short hike around Castelrotto

The countryside and forests look beautiful in autumn. In the track posted on Google Maps, look at the photo of the grasshopper taking an interest in my smartphone.
View 20101028 Castelrotto in a larger map

16 Oct 2010

Wasabi Lugano - Mauricio Kagel - Exotica

Another concert last night in the Wasabi series of OGGImusica was the Exotica of Mauricio Kagel, performed at the Radio della Svizzeral Italiana. Regrettably, the lighting was bad for video recording.

15 Oct 2010

Wasabi Lugano - Sarawan Tamburi d'Iran

The trio Sarawan Tamburi d'Iran performed at the concert hall of the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland on 14 October 2010. A most enjoyable concert.

Goats climb 160ft dam in Italian Alps

The daredevil herd were snapped at the 160ft Cingino barrier in Northern Italy, near the Swiss border.

I haven't seen this myself, but having found the place on Google Maps now I may go there next summer.

14 Oct 2010

Wasabi – Japanese music festival in Lugano

OGGImusica, an association dedicated to bring a large variety of concerts of contemporary music to the Italian-speaking part of switzerland, the canton Ticino, has organised a festival of Japanese music in collaboration with the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana and today were the first two concerts in Lugano. I recorded videos of a few pieces and plan to upload them tomorrow.

2 Oct 2010

Buying more wine, a Sangiovese this time

Whilst my wife was doing her shopping accross the border in Ponte Tresa Italia I strolled around town and bought six bottles of this Sangiovese di Romagna, vintage 2009. It should be ready to drink in two years.

1 Oct 2010

Veronika Kiss performs at a concert in Lugano

With some delay, I upload my video of part of the performance of Veronika Kiss at the concert in Lugano, Switzerland on 24 September 2010, where she played the bassoon concerto of André Jolivet.

Spanish wine Las Flores

I saw this Rioja in a local wine shop today and bought six bottles, as I always like to have some Spanish wine in my cellar.

24 Sep 2010

English Film Club Lugano

The English Film Club in Lugano usually shows 10 English-language films during the winter, on Thursday and Friday of most weeks. This season's program, which after a long search I finally found today, is here on the web:

The first film will be shown on 14 and 15 October, which is when the tickets can be bought.

18 Sep 2010

Concert in Lugano

There was an interesting concert in Lugano tonight, performed by the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in collaboration with soloists from the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana:

  • Veronika Kiss
  • Zsofia Györffy
  • Chiara Pavan

14 Sep 2010

Hike to Monte Bar

Today I hiked to Monte Bar with a friend and we had lunch at the mountain cabin restaurant. The air was a bit misty but we could see as far as Monte Rosa and Matterhorn.

View 20100914 Monte Bar in a larger map

11 Sep 2010

Matteo Sarti, piano

Matteo Sarti played the Allegro maestoso from Chopin's Sonato No. 3

Born in 1980, he obtained his diploma in piano in 2001 with the highest notes at the Istituto Musicale Pareggiato "Pietro Mascagni", Livorno with M. Cecchi. After winning an audition for the Italian Youth Orchestra, he began his concert activity as soloist in Italy and abroad, under conductors such as G. Noseda, G. Ferro, D. Gatti, D. Geringas, recording for the Italian National Radio and TV. At present, he is the pianist of the Trio Degas with whom he was awarded the 1st prize at the 5th National Competition "Riviera Etrusca", 1st prize at the 5th European Competi¬tion "Citta di Vasto", 2nd prize at the 11th National Competition "Giulio Rospigliosi", 2nd prize at the 12th Competition "Citta di Grosseto". His studies continued at the Accademia Musicale del Teatro Cinghio, Parma, with A. Miodini, and presently, at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana (CSI) earning diplomas for "Interpretation and Performance" with N. Doallo and "Piano Pedagogy" with R. Braccini with the highest notes. He participated in the opening concert of the "Festival del cinema italiano” in Rome, performing music by Nino Rota. Since 2006, he has regularly performed in the concert seasons of contemporary music “’900 e Presente” of the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana, in collaboration with the Italian Swiss Radio, both in ensemble and as soloist. At present, he teaches piano at the Accademia Vivaldi in Locarno and is completing his piano studies at the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana in the soloist class of N. Doallo.

Benamin Kim, piano

Benjamin Kim played the piano for Schumann's Quintetto

Ben Kim started studying the piano at the age of five with the famed Oregonian piano teacher, Dorothy Fahlman. At the age of eight, he performed his first public solo recital and his orchestral debut at twelve. He has featured on National Public Radio’s classical music show “From the Top”. In 2004, he finished and accelerated Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Leon Fleisher and Yong Hi Moon. Afterwards he received the Artist Diploma which is the school’s highest distinction. From 2004 to 2006 he was a student at the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Dongo where he studied with Fou Ts’ong, Dmitri Bashkirov, William Grant Naboré, Andreas Staier, John Perry and Claude Frank among others.

In 2006 he was awarded first prize at the ARD Competition in Munich. At present he is studying at
The University of Arts in Berlin.

François Dumont, piano

François Dumont played the piano for Beethoven's Trio No. 5.

François Dumont born in 1985 in Lyon , France was admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris, in the class of Bruno Rigutto. Since then, Dumont has won several important awards in various competitions such as Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels in 2007, Clara Haskil Competition 2009 and the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition also in 2009. His concert activities includes appearances in major concert series in Holland, Germany, Irland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Syria and China. Dumont has made many recordings for the radio and television in Belgium, Japan, Irland, Switzerland, USA, Italy, Brazil and China. In spite of his young age, François Dumont has made CD recordings of all of the sonatas of Mozart and with his “Trio Elégiaque” wor ks of Messiaen and Dusapin which have gained him worldwide success. François Dumont continues his artistic formation with great Masters such as Murray Perahia, Leon Fleisher, Dmitri Bashkirov, Fou Ts’ong, Menahem Pressler, William Grant Naboré and Andreas Staier at the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Dongo.

Classical concert in Lugano

I enjoyed the concert in Lugano tonight, part of the series "young masters of the keyboard". Sadly, the lighting was unsuitable to record a video. The interesting program included compositions of Beethoven, Chopin and Schumann. I believe today was the first time I heard Beethoven's the Trio No. 5 permformed.

1 Sep 2010

Hike to Alpe Pairolo

With friends, I hiked to Alpe Pairolo today, with sunny weather and a clear sky.

View 20100901 Pairolo in a larger map

The photos I took along the way are in this album.

30 Aug 2010

Tax money at work

It is always nice to see one's tax money at work. On my hike to Agno today I saw big boulders being placed in the bed of the river Vedeggio, to slow down the water current, I understand, for a good reason that I once heard explained but have since forgotten.

29 Aug 2010

Blues to Bop: Gospel concert

The San Lorenzo cathedral in Lugano was the venue for a beautiful gospel concert with the Fierson Brothers, Bill Sims Jr., Woody Mann, and members of the Imani 7.

28 Aug 2010

Blues to Bop: Dave Keyes & Bill Sims Jr.

Before going home I stopped by Piazza Riforma once more to listen to Dave Keyes and Bill Sims, accomonied by a drummer.

Blues to Bop: The Lugano SMUM Guitar Quartet & Woody Mann

I wanted to see and hear more of The Lugano SMUM Guitar Quartet & Woody Mann and went to Piazza San Rocco for this.

Blues to Bop: Luna Blues Big Band

Coming back late from dinner in Italy, I missed the first part of tonight's shows. In Piazza Riforma, I recorded the Luna Blues Big Band.

27 Aug 2010

Blues to Bop: Guido Melone & The Down Town Blues Band

The Swiss group Guido Melone & The Down Town Blues Band played in Piazza Dante.

Blues to Bop: Bill Sims Jr.

My next stop was Piazza Cioccaro, Where Bill Sims Jr. was on the stage.

Blues to Bop: The Frierson Brothers

On stage in Piazza Riforma: The Frieson Brothers.

Blues to Bop: Dave Keys & Woody Mann

I started the second evening of Blues to Bop in Lugano in Piazza San Rocco, listening to Dave Keys & Woody Mann.

26 Aug 2010

Blues to Bop: Imani 7

Just before the battery ran out I managed to record the group Imani 7 on the stage in Piazza Cioccaro.