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.
Lisbon was fascinating. A beautiful city, rich in history and culinary delights. I could easily spend several weeks exploring its winding, cobbled streets and diverse cultural offerings.
A long luggage queue, courtesy of the LA Phil, awaits its spot on a plane from Lisbon to Madrid. Despite problems with the luggage tag printer, all bags arrived safe and sound in Madrid.
However, it is not to be as this morning we are en route to Madrid. I'm traveling with my fourteen-year-old son, Keith, who is finding the food challenging but enjoying the sights. We'll squeeze in a trip to the Prado Museum on Sunday afternoon, then Mahler 9 for me and homework for him. After that, we head out for some authentic Spanish Flamenco, sangria and last, but not least, a good night's sleep!