Archive for May, 2010

May 29 2010

Ljubljana with Reiner’s Grandson

The Pittsburgh Symphony’s European Tour 2010 is history, with a final playing of Grieg, Khachaturian, and Brahms encores. Cellist Jan Vogler played the Schumann Concerto and a Bach encore with distinction. At intermission, Vogler said his colleagues at the Dresden Festival, where the Pittsburgh played last week, thought the Pittsburgh visit was the highlight of […]

May 29 2010

Bela Bartok House and Concert Hall

I met Pittsburgh-born harpsichordist Geoffrey Thomas at the home of Hungary’s most famous composer, Bela Bartok. I took a taxi for the 15 minute drive to the house from Pest over to Buda on the hilly side of the Danube River. Birds sang sweetly as I walked up the path to the house that’s surrounded […]

May 28 2010

On to Budapest

Must run. I just wanted you to see a little of the second and final concert in Vienna. I ran into the wife of artist Henry Koerner, Joan, at the famous Demel’s pastry shop yesterday. Then it was on to the Central, where a pianist entertained the café regulars. Nikolai Znaider, the soloist we’ve had […]

May 27 2010

Musikverein

The first of the two concerts at Vienna’s storied Musikverein was a family affair for the Honeck family, attended by Manfred’s three sisters Elfi, Sibylle, and Marlies; his Jesuit priest son Joachim, his son Matthias, nephew Patrick, brother-in-law Florian Partl, and many others. I spoke with Joachim at the post-concert reception and dinner given by […]

May 25 2010

Pittsburgh in Vienna

At last, the Pittsburgh Symphony has arrived in the city of Johann Strauss, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Schoenberg. Even Gottfried von Einem has a star on the walk of fame here, just outside the Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic, where the Pittsburgh Symphony rehearses later this morning and presents the first of two […]

May 24 2010

Wunderschönes Dresden

Now 804 years old, the city of Dresden was every bit as thrilling as Prague. We had bright sunshine and a few hours to look around before a rehearsal of Schumann’s Cello Concerto with Jan Vogler. Vogler is the Intendant, or director, of the festival. After his encore of solo Bach, he sat for the […]

May 22 2010

Deluxembourg to Delightful Prague

The buses let us off at the “Kiss and Fly” parking spot in front of the gleaming new Luxembourg airport. Like everything else in Luxembourg, it seems like no expense was spared. Shiny glass and sleek with polished floors and spacious everything. We boarded the charter flight to Prague. Weather still perfect. The hotel in […]

May 21 2010

Battle of the Bulge

The second concert in Luxembourg was even more thrilling than the first. Anne Sophie Mutter was radiant in the Brahms Concerto and her Bach encore. The Shostakovich Fifth Symphony brought two encores, The Dragonfly by Johann Strauss, and the Final Waltz from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss. The weather was perfect. I strolled through the […]

May 20 2010

Philharmonie Luxembourg

The Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte of Luxembourg was responsible for the amazing undertaking of building the new hall where the Pittsburgh Symphony played Beethoven and Dvorak tonight. But she died before she could hear the first concert there in 2005. Her life was tragic, I was told by Luxembourg residents Eric and Renee Osch who […]

May 19 2010

On to Luxembourg

Leaving Paris on Tuesday morning on the bus we experienced the Parisian tradition of the one-day strike with a parade of hundreds of postal workers in the traffic lane next to the bus. The strikers seemed to be in a happy frame of mind even if working conditions are in need of improvement. Conditions improved […]

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