Saturday, 23 April 2011

St.George Day - Easter

Easter is an inspiring time… Quite a few months I haven’t written anything here in the blog – due to many reasons. First of all it’s been incredibly intensive season with a lot of traveling and new pieces of music to study. And it’s been a worried mood in RLPO about coming cuts and future plans, so, decided to not overheat the situation even more.
Well, now we know much more about the budget in coming years and we know how demanding it will be. Of course, keeping our ambitions on the same level (and you know that ambitions are to be a Number One Orchestra) with constant decrease of financial support is extremely difficult and challenging. We do appreciate all hard work and effort by the local and state government and we know how tough it is, but in the same time a bit disappointed that so far all the cuts are similar in per cents for everybody. In my point of view it might be more encouraging for all cultural institutions to have different changes of funds according to their role in community, representation of Liverpool within the UK and worldwide. Otherwise there is not enough encouragement to progress and improve. At the difficult time priorities must be given for a further improvement of key organizations, those flagships will bring other fleet to the right place later on, when economy will recover.
Meanwhile, RLPO had a very successful season – quite a few recording awards, great reviews (on recent tour to Europe most of German and French newspapers acknowledged that Liverpool is not only about Beatles and football, but equally important Orchestra is there). And most important, we have a rise of ticket sales again! Instead of concerns about spending abilities in a current year, which I haven’t share due to huge believe in our audience and supporters. Now we are looking forward towards next season – presentation is soon!
My guest conducting was also very satisfying, a lot of great concerts around Europe, Asia and America; now looking forward to the summer and my first visit to New Zealand in August. I've heard it’s an amazing country! As you probably know, Oslo Philharmonic has appointed me as a Chief Conductor from 2013-2014, so, I’ll have two main bases by then (1 hour flight!) and less time for guest weeks. Hope that life will be more settled when it’ll start… By the way, at the moment traveling by train from Newcastle to London, where is a concert with National Youth Orchestra (amazing!) tomorrow. Such a beautiful day outside of the window!

P.S. I know that most of you probably would like to know, will I stay in Liverpool beyond 2015 or not – as I’ve said many times, it’ll depends on many factors, two of them are the key: keep our ambitions shared not only within Philharmonic but in all public areas and city councils; investing money into further improvement of facilities to attract more listeners and tourist all around the world to enjoy Liverpool. For me way “to preserve” is a way down, the only option is “to improve and expand”.