We have just finished a wonderful tour with 4 concerts in Ferrara, Bologna, Frankfurt and Brussels with Vladimir Jurowski. We all loved playing with Jurowski and I think everyone hopes we can tour with him again soon!
We arrived in Ferrara last Tuesday and everyone met up in Brindisi for a prosecco and capellacci – something I was craving as I haven't been in Ferrara for over a year!
I had flown in from Sydney and was suffering from jet lag so it was an early night for me. I had decided to go running every day this tour so went the next morning round the city wall. It was so much warmer in Italy than the rest of Europe and everyone was sitting outside enjoying the feeling of Spring!
We started rehearsing that afternoon. Mahler 4 was the main piece on the programme (one of my favourite Mahler symphonies) and then we were playing a selection of songs from Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn, one of which is used in the 4th movement of the symphony. There were also some songs by Mussorgsky on the programme which I didn't know until now, and they are beautiful!
Jurowski rehearsed in a lot of detail and we were all looking forward to the concerts.
The time in Ferrara was spent rehearsing and eating and drinking in everybody's favourite restaurants. I think Ferrara will always be my favourite place in Italy!
The first concert in Ferrara was really special. The theatre was being renamed after Claudio Abbado so there was a ceremony at the beginning of the performance for that and we all felt quite emotional in the concert.
The next stop was Bologna, a city I love, although we arrived just before the concert and had a very early start the next morning to fly to Frankfurt.
The concert in Frankfurt was great and the audience seemed to love it. A few friends of mine from Australia were there and it was great to catch up with them. After the concert the whole orchestra turned up unannounced in a restaurant where the only waitress looked like she would have a heart attack!! They coped amazingly well though and we were all fed after not much of a wait at all. We all tipped her very generously hoping that would make up for the stress we had caused...!
The last stop was Brussels. Obama was arriving the same day we were but we didn't see much sign of that. We had a free evening there and went to an amazing restaurant a friend of mine had recommended and of course ate way too much!!
I was up the next morning jogging around the city trying to burn off a few of those calories!!! We then had to rehearse a new piece for the programme that night and also with a different singer. This concert for me was the best, but that is always so personal, so it is hard to say what the best concert of the tour was.
All too quickly the tour was over and we were all celebrating together in a restaurant the office girls had found for us.
Now I'm in Amsterdam visiting a friend and looking forward to being back on tour with MCO in May!