Lucerne Festival Orchestra

17 November 2015
Paulien Holthuis

Paulien Holthuis



Of course I can write now about the fantastic concerts and all the places we have been, the outstanding way Martha Argerich plays, the full energy Andris Nelsons gives every night, how every time Mahler 5 was growing in the orchestra, how tired we all were from travelling around etc.. But this is not what I want to write about right now.

The tour started with a dinner in Ferrara with some of my very nice colleagues. Very quickly we came to the subject refugees. In all countries where we come from this is a very actual problem with so different ways of dealing with it. It is interesting to share all the thoughts and ways of helping.

After two wonderful concerts in the new Philharmonie in Paris and spending some lovely time in this great capital, we flew to Madrid. In Madrid we had a very late concert at 22:30! Just before I had to play I got an sms from my sister that she was happy that I had left Paris. At that time I didn't know what was happening. I checked my phone and immediately the information showed up about all the terrible attacks which were still going on.
This news had an enormous impact on everybody. Within the orchestra information goes so fast. You see everybody being shocked and checking by phone what has happened and if friends and family are alright.
There is a certain atmosphere which is difficult to describe.
We all go on stage and play Mahler 5.
There is no better way than making music together to express your emotions. After the concert there was a bus going back to the hotel. I never experienced such a silence after playing Mahler 5.
Without doubt I can write that the last concert in the Musikverein in Vienna we played in our hearts for all the victims.

I would like to end this tour diary with the words of Leonard Bernstein:

"This will be our reply to violence: to make music intensely, beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."