Wow! What an evening in Phoenix. I spent almost the entire time seeing many of my friends from years spent here in the past and sharing some of my favorites places with my colleagues in the Phil. In the afternoon a few of us went to my favorite 'Soul food' place, Mrs. White's for some down-home cooking. Mmmmm-mmm! Then on to the concert to perform the Adams and the Mahler. Prior to the concert the Phoenix Symphony CEO Maryellen Gleason was gracious enough to introduce me as a former member to the audience. The reaction from the audience, many of whom were my friends, was an unexpected pleasure. The was seemingly an endless number of my former 'peeps' to visit with during the intermission and after the concert. The Phil played wonderfully and seemingly the entire town was in awe of Gustavo. All in all it added up a great, albeit short visit to Phoenix. Now off to Chicago!
The subject of Arizona politics is clearly a hot-button issue on this tour, but I decided that this is not the forum in which to discuss the fact that myself and several other members of the orchestra have chosen to avoid spending money while in Phoenix despite the presence of a convenient, popular, “owl-themed”, national chain restaurant directly across from the hotel. While I sit here in my hotel room and savor the flavor and mouth-feel of what is probably my second of three “Pure Protein” bars that will have to suffice for sustenance today, I am eagerly awaiting this evening’s concert. The first to performances in San Francisco crackled with an excitement and electricity that I know will only crescendo to a climax at our final concerts in New York.
A world-class orchestra needs world-class support, so please let me take this opportunity to thank our peerless staff and crew for allowing me to “leave my brain at home” (Is this our bus? Should I get on this bus?) and focus exclusively on music making for two whirlwind weeks.