2013 Tour

Paris, Je t'Aime

The orchestra is on to Paris!

It's the final European stop on the tour and penultimate stop of the whole darn thing, so spirits are high. They'll be playing The Gospel According to the Other Mary tonight at Paris' famed Salle Pleyel, home of the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

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Mountaintop Musings

Nathan Medley (far right) consoles Mary Magdalene (Kelley O'Connor) with his fellow countertenors (Daniel Bubeck and Brian Cummings) in a scene from John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary

Who knew John Adams could sound so good with a little extra cheese in the belly?

That's a random observation about performing The Gospel According to the Other Mary in Switzerland, sure. But, after our Lucerne experience, I can honestly say that "those hills were alive with the sound of music."

As we round the half way point of our tour and head onward to the discerning French it is a perfect moment for this kind of reflection. Two wonderful observations come to mind: 

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YOLA Tour Diary, Part 2

DAY 3—March 14, 2013

Major Events: Creative Music Workshop at the Guildhall School, workshop with Drum Works, and the first rehearsal with the Discover Dudamel Orchestra.

 

YOLA at the Barbican

Samantha: Today was tiring!  We had breakfast and headed toward Guildhall to have an improv session. It was really fun.  We did a weird circle where we passed around noises then we composed a song together.  It was from a Japanese fisherman folk song.

Isaac: Improv is something we could do at YOLA.  Making small riffs as we go along.  Eventually, we could make a great piece.  We could make an official YOLA anthem for our orchestra.

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Alpine Inspiration

Gustav Mahler used cowbells to depict bucolic life in the rural villages dotting the Alps and Richard Wagner finished the third act of his opera Tristan und Isolde in 1859 living in the very hotel I write this from, the Hotel Schweizerhof. He was so inspired by the incredible view from our hotel of Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus rising above Lake Luzern that in 1866 he bought a house down the street which is now a museum.

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Swed Speaks

The LA Times' Mark Swed sits down to speak with several YOLA musicians while on tour in London.

LA Times classical music critic and friend of the Phil Mark Swed traveled to London to take in all the happenings during the orchestra's International Residency at the Barbican Centre. But he, like many a hometown critic that travels with his local orchestra on tour, had seen all three of the programs that the orchestra was playing. If that's the case, what's a critic to do? What does he write about?

Well, if you're Swed, you write about the 10 YOLA students that traveled to London to take part in the Future Play Symposium. And, if you're Swed, you do a pretty amazing job of capturing the spirit of not only the event, but also the thoughts, words and feelings of its most important participants.

Swed writes:

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Discovering Dudamel in Lucerne

It isn't only our own young musicans of YOLA or those in London-based El Sistema-inspired programs that get to "Discover Dudamel" - it's a Swiss thing too! Our Music Director took time out from preparing for tonight's Lucerne performance of The Gospel According to the Other Mary to pose with 150 young musicians from the Lucerne nucleo this morning.

Who can spot Gustavo in the sea of red T-shirts?

 

 

 

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Greetings from Lucerne!

Marion Kuzyk, Michele Grego and Michele Bovyer pose for a photo in Lucerne.

Today was a much-needed day off - no concerts, no rehearsals and no travel. I was fortunate to join two of my colleagues on an incredible journey to Mount Pilatus. Mount Pilatus is the 7000-foot Alpine Summit that is above Lucerne. Marion Kuszyk, Shelley Bovyer and I boarded a bus to the Kriens Station where we took the gondola to the first stop at 4649 feet. None of us had ever travelled to the summit and we thought surely we were to the top.

Marion took a wonderful photo of the next aerial cableway which took us to the summit. It's the tiny red speck in the middle of the snow covered mountain - it was nothing less than breathtaking and a bit terrifying.

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So Long, London!

LA Phil President and CEO Deborah Borda and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel on the plane from London to Lucerne.

It was an amazing week for the orchestra in London, to say the least. Our International Residency at the Barbican Centre, the Future Play Symposium and our three concerts were by all measures rousing successes. The orchestra played amazingly, the audiences were moved, hearts and minds were opened and fine times were had by all.

But it's a tour, after all, and to tour means to move - so that's what we're doing.

So long, London - hello, Lucerne!

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Masterclass Moments

LA Phil Principal Trombone Nitzan Haroz demonstrates for a young musician in last Friday's Masterclass at London's Barbican Centre

Imagine, for a moment, that you're a young musician - say, a young trombonist or horn player - and you've gotten an invite to participate in a special music education symposium held at Europe's largest arts complex. What could be better than that?

Well, how about if two of the world's foremost authorities on the two instruments - the LA Phil's Principal Trombone Nitzan Haroz and Principal Horn Andrew Bain, respectively - led semi-private masterclasses, giving you individual attention and lessons on how to improve your playing?

I bet you'd think that was pretty great - priceless, even.

 

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Running with the Wetzels

LA Phil violist Mick Wetzel takes a break from his run in London to pose for a photo.

Stacy and I have been touring with major symphony orchestras for 30 years. Before we came to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, we played with the San Francisco Symphony.. This has been a wonderful privilege to have been able to do this and most especially together.

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