Archive for May, 2009

May 21 2009

Tokyo Extra

Published by under PSO 2009 Asian Tour

I’m writing from the United Lounge at Tokyo’s Narita Airport where the Pittsburgh Symphony has been hanging out for the last four hours. The plane has been changed, and a new departure time of 7:00 pm set. The passengers have been waiting while the security staff and medical personnel evaluate the risk of swine flu […]

May 20 2009

Taiwan Farewell

Published by under PSO 2009 Asian Tour

The new 2009 World Games Stadium at Kaohsiung has been initiated with the joyous and thunderous sound of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony.  Fireworks during the 1812 and at the end of the evening went off without a hitch. Not as impressive as Zambelli, of course, but […]

May 20 2009

Taiwan Surprises

Published by under PSO 2009 Asian Tour

There are so many unexpected moments in China. Here in Taiwan we’re in a hotel connected to the Japanese Department store Hanshin which has a large food court on the basement level and eight floors of shopping. The food court is a riot of interesting places including a McDonald’s offering a Big Mac Meal or […]

May 19 2009

Cannons in Kaosiung

Published by under PSO 2009 Asian Tour

I’m sitting just behind the stage of the Kaohsiung stadium while the Pittsburgh Symphony rehearses Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from the Ninth Symphony with a chorus of singers from the Vienna State Opera and choirs from Taiwan. It is a very warm and humid evening. The stage for the Orchestra is brightly lit with colorful […]

May 17 2009

From Mao to Mahler

Published by under PSO 2009 Asian Tour

There are a few westerners in the big hotels in Beijing. At breakfast, I met Linda Heimels, born in Amsterdam. She told me she loves living in Beijing even more than her few years spent in New York and Washington D.C. She told me the Chinese are very warm and open once you gain their […]

May 13 2009

From Heinz Hall to the Great Wall

Published by under PSO 2009 Asian Tour

While sifting through the photos I took today, I’ve been listening to MTV China on the hotel TV. You have to wonder what Chairman Mao would have thought about the Pussycat Dolls, Madonna, Britney Spears and Janet Jackson cavorting in the People’s Republic. There’s some Chinese rock and a Chinese rapper in something called simply […]

May 12 2009

Blue Sky in Beijing

Published by under PSO 2009 Asian Tour

When the Pittsburgh Symphony planned its first tour with Manfred Honeck in Asia, it wasn’t expecting a worldwide flu pandemic. But in spite of the worries, the orchestra has arrived safely in Beijing. After nearly 24 hours of travel and a 13-and-a-half hour flight from Chicago, the players were scanned with a thermal sensing device […]