Birds are singing and flowers blossom, trees becomes green and in some parts of the World is already very warm... So, long, cold and snowy winter is over and time of summer concerts is coming.
February and March been very busy and intensive, RLPO had a great success at home and away, CD’s and concerts got great reviews everywhere, all smiles like Hollywood movies! Plus another exciting period of concerts ahead: Till, Petrushka, Shostakovich 6th and Bruckner 7th within 10 days. Swiss tour went very well, and, instead of difficult schedule, quality of the concerts was extremely high (the best orchestra in Migros-serie by the words of organizers!). Beautiful historic halls, cities (particularly sunny Bern) and nature together with big emotional reaction on British music left very positive feelings from this week. Even if at some nights there has been very little time to sleep...
San Francisco is a rare US city with a lot of character in architecture and citizens, I’ve stayed in a hotel opposite Notre Dame de Paris de San Francisco or at least it looks like it. The same square had a copy of Romaine Fountains and a couple of blocks away some parts of Berlin... But altogether it looks very organic and somehow blends into special SanFranStyle. Had a lot of fun playing Grieg concerto together with Simon Trpceski and a lot of drama with Shostakovich 8 (by the way this symphony is next on release from Naxos). Met a lot of Russian members of audience – not surprisingly, because Fort Ross isn’t far away ))) And there are Russian Hill in San Francisco.
Atlanta gave me a warm Georgian welcome with 80-84 degrees during first 3 days; does anybody know how much it in Celsius? Work intensively in such a climate and blossom peach trees isn’t easy (unless you’re working outside!), but Atlanta Symphony had a lot of will to improve and Manfred was great as well as piano concerto. Was a great pleasure to meet Barry Douglas, who’s been many times in Liverpool in a last couple of years, and perform with him first time in Atlanta! By the way, it’s another city planning a new concert hall.
Now back to the Old World, in quiet and villa-geoise Hilversum, rehears for a concert in Concertgebouw this Saturday. Somehow in Netherlands I’m always so nostalgic, perhaps because it’s been a model for Peter the Great when he founded St.Petersburg and hired best Italian artists to build a city on Neva ))) Looking forward to this Saturday, then next week (next season is sealed and it’ll be even better than current one!), then Macbeth, Mahler 3, Shostakovich 5 plus many others...and to the end of July, when I’ll see my original home city again!