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Los Angeles Times Tour

    Today, a small group of us went on a guided tour of the Los Angeles Times editorial and printing facilities.  California native Darrell Kunitomi, our tour guide and one of the Times’ longest working employees (a total of 37 years!),  walked and talked us through the newsrooms, warehouses and presses.  

LA Phil Plays Paris’ Pleyel

Et maintenant, Paris. For me, the centerpiece of our tour. No city has the heart, the culture, the magic. It is a place where locals say “Bon appetit” to strangers, where a stare turns into a head-turn, where a smile turns into a wink.

LA Phil Loves Luzern

  And now, we travel to Switzerland! We boarded our chartered jet and made the quick 1 hour hop to Zurich where we bussed to our second stop on tour, Luzern. Pulling in around dusk, the city was shrouded in clouds:     The next morning it was recommended that I take the gondola up the face of Mount Pilatus, a 6,982 foot mountain with easy access from within the city.

LA Phil Lands in London

    After a 10.5 hour flight from LAX to London Heathrow, the remainder of the Philharmonic contingent arrived and settled in. The Green Umbrella group had flown in a few days before, and the Gospel According to the Other Mary a couple days preceding those of us playing the Zipangu/Firebird/La Mer program.

Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival

      Welcome to Walla Walla, Washington!       Walla Walla is arguably one of the most enchanting and beautiful locales in the world.  I was lucky to be asked to perform in Walla Walla’s own chamber music festival for ten days this June.  

Caracas: Coda

  One week later, how have the events of this monumental tour settled?  I had the chance to catch up with a few members of the Philharmonic and report what they had to say:   “It took a few days to wrap my head around how things work down there, how the society works.  

Caracas: Day 10

All good things must come to an end, and so must this tour. Today we packed up and headed on the bus to compete with the traffic headed to the coast for celebrating Carnival, a 5-day celebration observed in Latin America.

Caracas: Day 9

Mahler 8 with 1,400 musicians, check.  Live theatercast to the U.S. Canada and Argentina, check.  An extraordinary musical event that brings 10 symphonies, 2 orchestras and 1 conductor together, check.  What an unbelievable experience!   The day started out with a full-dress run-through of “The Big Tamale,” the eighth symphony of Gustav Mahler.  

Caracas: Day 8

  Buenas Noches!   Today was one full of events.  Early in the morning we set off for the cable car gondolas to climb the mountains directly north of Caracas; it was a serene ride on the way up with clouds coming in and out of view: A view of the city looking south southwest   By the time  we got to the top, it was very foggy and cool; very different from downtown!

Caracas: Day 7

Today we saw a true spectacle.  Four orchestras and two choirs, numbering 1300 musicians in total, put on a show for the LA Philharmonic, the media, and our MC for this Saturday’s live broadcast of Mahler’s 8th symphony John Lithgow.  This was a logistical mountain realized in perfect detail without a single hitch.