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Well, we made it to Boston, our final tour destination. Our charter flight left snowy Montreal this morning behind schedule due to a complicated luggage glitch. It was handled with aplomb by our LA Phil managers, who have this sort of thing down to a science. After a lengthy de-icing and a wait on the runway, we were off.
Boston is near and dear to my heart, as I went to college at New England Conservatory. I haven't played in Boston's Symphony Hall before with the Phil, and I'm very curious about how we will sound in there. NEC is one block away from the concert hall. I never dreamed, back in my student days, that I would be back here in the future, performing with a top American orchestra.
I walked over to the Conservatory this afternoon to see what changes had transpired over the many years since I've been here. It seemed much the same ... The sounds of different instruments and voices mixing in the hallways as I walked past practice rooms and studios. The small, dungeon-like practice cells in the basement are still there, in all their dreariness. I contemplated the long hours of sweat-equity I logged down there, "wood shedding," as we call it.
I had dinner tonight with my professor from NEC and Indiana University, James Buswell. I owe him such a debt of gratitude. I still think of things he taught me while I'm playing rehearsals and concerts. His influence on me was profound, and it shaped me as a young player. He will be at our concert tomorrow; what a thrill for me to play for him!
I hope we finish strong tomorrow, and save the best for last!
- Kristine Whitson