LA Phil Blog

Unforgettable Mahler, Unforgettable Cologne

Unforgettable Mahler, Unforgettable Cologne

Violinist Johnny Lee and Associate Concertmaster Bing Wang

Violinist Johnny Lee and Associate Concertmaster Bing Wang (right) at Music Director Gustavo Dudamel's 30th Birthday Party in Cologne, Germany -- right after the LA Phil finished a command performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony.

We played our second concert in Cologne on January 26, which happened to be Gustavo's 30th birthday.  This is simply incredible.  How many professional orchestras get to celebrate their Music Director's 30th birthday?  All of us knew it was a very special day and it's wonderful to be back at the Cologne Philharmonie on this memorable occasion.

The Mahler was simply unforgettable!  We all gave more than we ever did and the strings were reaching for our max in the slow last movement.  The power of this music was just overwhelming.  By the time we got to the breathtaking ending it felt as if time had stopped and the hall itself was holding its breath...

I feel so fortunate and proud to be part of this great music making!