On Tour With the OPL to Italy

Posted By on May 23, 2009

I have always loved Italy! I get there as often as I can. And if I can combine it with a performance either with the Luxembourg Philharmonic or the AHQ, all the better. This time it was the OPL (Lux Phil). I was scheduled to play only the Dvorak Symphony Nr. 2 (or 7) on 3 concerts- Brescia, Bergamo and Pavia. It`s a rather strange job to do. I sit around all day long, checking and rechecking my chops, board the bus to the hall, participate in a very short acoustic rehearsal, locate a practice and changing room for myself, go get a coffee, walk around the city a bit, enjoy a light dinner, back to the hall while the orchestra is already playing, warm up and then, at 10:30 at night, dive into 38 minutes of intense orchestral playing. After the concert, we bus it back to the hotel, enjoy a bottle of wine or beer, depending on which country you are in, sleep it off and get up the next day to exactly the same routine. Kristina, who has been holding down the 3rd horn chair all season was playing the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto as well.

Now if any of you have been on tour to Italy, you must have experienced the magnificent old theaters there. Most of them were built in the 18th century, are somewhat shallow in the parterre, but then head straight up 7 or 8 floors of balconies, the lights of which reveal a beautiful ornate painting of some sort on the ceiling. Although the acoustics in these old theaters are inevitable dry as a bone, the visual joy of playing there to usually packed halls gives me that feeling of belonging to the cultural and artistic time continuum that I am ever seeking. It certainly wasn`t the first time that a chorus of “bravi” roared out from those deep, maroon carpeted boxes.

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