In the context of orchestral trumpet playing, "rotary" refers to a specific style and design of trumpet. Rotary trumpets (named for a particular type of valve construction) are typically used in German and Austrian orchestras rather than the piston trumpets we use in the U.S. They look and are played a little differently than "normal" piston trumpets. In fact, audience members often ask us why we're holding our instruments sideways.
Chris Still, of the LA Phil trumpet section, shows off a rotary trumpet, which is normally used in German and Austrian orchestras and thus was the perfect instrument to bring along on this tour.
Every so often on tour you get the luxury of seeing friends who are normally too far away to visit. For years my family has been talking about taking a trip to Belgium to visit our good friend Andrew, who used to live in Los Angeles, but it had never happened. Now here I was going to be in Köln, a mere one-and-a-half hours from his home in Leuven (yes, this is where they make Stella Artois beer - if the wind is right, you can smell it in the air.)
The orchestra deplaned to a cold and rainy Cologne; however, all on tour were impressed that the buses came right out onto the tarmac to collect them!
I'm writing this just a few moments before the musicians will be taking the stage for our first concert in Cologne, this ancient city on the Rhine blessed with a marvelous concert hall.
LA Phil President and CEO Deborah Borda, hard at work on this blog post.
The performances in Lisbon and Madrid found the Beethoven and the Mahler 9 already in stunning shape and growing every night. I find the intensity at times almost overwhelming. Audiences are wonderfully receptive with standing ovations every night.
Our concert in Madrid was a gallery of Angelenos and international friends including Zubin Mehta, James Conlon and the First Lady of Spain. It was quite the scene backstage!