So often in the face of adversity we manage to come together and help those in need to cope with tremendous loss. Today the Philharmonic arrived in Nashville to perform this evening in an alternate venue: the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Due to its location on higher ground, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center did not suffer flood damage as did the much newer Schermerhorn Concert Hall, home to the Nashville Symphony. The concert was highly emotional for two important reasons: we were able to play a magnificent concert to assist in the healing of this flood stricken city, and to present a contribution (nearly $7,000 from the musicians of the Philharmonic) for a total of $25,000 to help the Nashville Symphony replace one of the two Steinway concert grands that were lost in the flooding.
Not even a flood can stop Gustavo and the LA Phil! The new Schermerhorn Hall in Nashville sustained serious damage in last week's weather catastrophe and cannot be used again until major repairs are completed. For a few days it seemed our concert would have to be cancelled. However, we hung in there with the great folks from the Nashville Symphony because we all believe passionately in the power of music when times are tough. Amazingly, the persistent music-lovers in Nashville came up with an alternate (though not ideal) hall and asked if we would be willing to play in it. Not only were we willing, but our musicians took up a collection among themselves that added up to close to $7000; Gustavo and Jean Yves Thibaudet matched that, and our Association will give back a portion of our fee.
Our tours make it possible for other cities to get a taste of what LA offers musically. On this tour some of us decided to get a taste of what other cities offer in the culinary world. I made reservations at several restaurants with big name chefs: Rick Bayless, José Andrés and Tom Colicchio.