LA Phil Blog

Moving an Orchestra Across the Ocean and Back

Moving an Orchestra Across the Ocean and Back

LA Philharmonic Orchestra truckIt takes efforts on many fronts to project our musical pursuits to a European audience. As musicians, we work very hard to bring our "product" up to the highest standards but without our Production Director, Paul Geller, and his crew of Stage Technicians, Cesar Melgar, Alex Quintanar, and Michael Sheppard, our musical pursuits would quite literally never fly. These are the people who do the thankless, behind the scenes work that we all appreciate so much. They make us musicians feel almost as if we were at home no matter where we are, so that we can perform at our best. It is staggering to me what they move:

  • 115 trunks containing such items as wardrobe, instruments, double bass stools, conductor's podium and desk, timpani, bass drum, other percussion instruments, harps, and an Apple iMac computer
  • All of this weighs in at over 11 tons and takes up over 3,000 cubic feet
  • It is shipped to Europe in a B747 cargo airliner
  • While in Europe it travels by truck—over 4,100 miles of driving

Just to give you an idea of how much we trust these guys and how much we depend on them, I don't let very many people even carry my own instrument, but I completely trust these men to ship my precious viola thousands of miles across the ocean and back. No pressure, guys!