Across Europe with Yuja Wang

30 November 2017
Elvira van Groningen

Elvira van Groningen



Ten concerts, nine different cities and countless new experiences: it was an exciting tour across Europe last month.We were travelling for almost 3 weeks with star pianist Yuja Wang and music by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Mozart and Chopin. There were so many special things about this journey that I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, my boyfriend Julian was also playing. To be on tour together is a luxury and makes every hotel room feel a bit more like home. Such a long tour can be especially tiring (and I have to admit that this was the longest one of my life so far), but being together makes it easier to stay in and relax without feeling lonely. We even brought our smoothie-maker with us to make our own indoor "meals" and energy-suppliers for on the go

The tour started with rehearsals and two concerts in Paris, in the concert hall of the Fondation Louis Vuitton. I had been there for some chamber music concerts two years ago, and it was nice to be back.
It was my first MCO experience without conductor and I was very excited about it. A rehearsal process without conductor is always a bit different and can be challenging. How lucky that the MCO has Matthew leading the orchestra... and what an amazing musician he is. I learned so many things just from watching him. He is always gentle and funny, knows when to speak and also when not to, and how he listens so well whilst playing himself, is a miracle to me.