Archive for August, 2011

Aug 31 2011

Eisenstadt, Haydnstadt

At noon Thursday, the Pittsburgh Symphony heads to the first of its two concerts at the five-year-old Grafenegg Festival about 45 minutes from Vienna. Yesterday, I joined PSO Principal Oboist Cynthia Koledo de Almeida, Principal Flutist Lorna McGhee, freelance cellist Aaron Zelkowicz, and Vienna Symphony Orchestra oboist Peter Schreiber on a train ride to Franz […]

Aug 30 2011

Vienna Café

Pittsburgh Symphony players fanned out all over the city after arriving this afternoon on a Nike Air flight from Vilnius. The airline has partnered with the famous Demel’s delicatessen in Vienna. Our charter flight featured an elegant cheese sandwich on Bauernbrot, or brownbread, with thin slices of green pepper. The stewardesses wore fashionable uniforms with […]

Aug 29 2011


It was a full rehearsal this morning at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater. It’s a giant structure for a mere 900-seat theater. The orchestra played without an acoustical shell. Stage hands set up a screen behind the orchestra and used blue gels to backlight it. This doesn’t make for ideal acoustics, but some […]

Aug 27 2011

Backstage in Hamburg

I ran into Rolf Beck, the Intendant of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, after the Pittsburgh Symphony’s concert. He was delighted to see Manfred Honeck, who he has known and admired for more than twenty years. Also on hand for the Saturday concert was Dr. Steven Paul, who works for the North German NDR network which presents […]

Aug 27 2011

Hamburg Laeiszhalle

It was thundering feet and cheers for the Mahler Symphony #5 from the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Germany. Anne-Sophie Mutter wowed them again, and there was television coverage of this event in the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. A huge crowd turned up for the CD signing afterward. The house was full, […]

Aug 26 2011

Wiesbaden Rheingau Musik Festival

  Composer Wolfgang Rihm took a bow after the European premiere of his concerto Lichtes Spiel with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. The first concert on this tour also featured Anne-Sophie in the familiar Mendelssohn Concerto. Heading back to the hotel on the bus the comments centered on, “How does she do it?,” and “Isn’t it amazing […]

Aug 26 2011

Meissen and Mendelssohn

I just came from the Pittsburgh Symphony’s rehearsal with Anne-Sophie Mutter, who was relaxed and magisterial in the morning session with Music Director Manfred Honeck. A reporter from one of the German national networks – 3sat, I believe – was on the scene asking about the fact that the Philadelphia Orchestra and Pittsburgh are touring at […]

Aug 25 2011

Schiller, Liszt, und Tagescocktail

I ran into double bass player Jeffrey Grubbs on my way to the train station. Jeffrey was just back from some light shopping. The train station, the Bahnhof, was great for bakeries. At Kamps Backstube I picked up a cheese pretzel and raspberry streusel. Immer Ofenfrisch! Von Hand Gemacht! (Always oven-fresh! Hand made!) The Payot […]

Aug 24 2011

Rheingau Musik Festival

Wiesbaden is on the Rhine River in the grape-growing region. Concertgoers will see a bunch of grapes pictured on every ticket to the festival. While I haven’t noticed any vineyards near the hotel, I took a walk of about a mile to the Kurhaus where the Pittsburgh Symphony will play their first concert on Friday […]

Aug 24 2011

Guten Tag!

Wilkommen nach Deutschland!  The Pittsburgh Symphony has arrived–at least the official group is here and it’s warm and sunny. I enjoyed catching up with some of the musicians on their summer activities since we last saw them at Hartwood Acres on July 3. Principal Horn William Caballero enjoyed three weeks playing and teaching in Sapporo, Japan […]

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