Thursday, March 01, 2007

New York reviews and afterthoughts


Most of the orchestra returned to Miami Beach today, after two nights in Carnegie Hall. The first concert was reviewed by Anthony Tommasini in today's New York Times: "Sometimes the Newcomers Sound a Lot Like the Old-Timers". Earlier this week, Lawrence Johnson reviewed our performance last Saturday in the Carnival Center: "Yo-Yo Ma offers season's high at Carnival Center".

Both of these fellows had nice things to say about our concerts - I plan to add a few of my impressions as well, when I get around to it. Today, though, I've been thinking about the dynamics of traveling with a group like the New World Symphony. Moving around in any big group always has its own curiosities and frustrations, from airport delays to unforseen ailments. A few people didn't see their luggage in New York at all, and another had to leave the stage in the Shostakovich Cello Concerto due to severe food poisoning! Somehow we all managed to deal with everything, though, and the concerts were both incredible.

As Tommasini noted in his review, we work and live together here in Miami, and our lives are to a certain extent circumscribed by the demands of the program. That's true on tour as well, though it was fascinating for me to see all the different uses people made of their free time! A lot of us sampled the museums and other standard tourist fare - connected with friends, both in Manhattan and from surrounding towns, got work done on instruments, or even found a way to work in an audition or two. (A lot of orchestra members got there early and/or spent an extra day to manage all this!) Everyone seemed to have a strategy to squeeze as much from those few days as possible.

I got to see my Dad and Theresa, my step-mom - they flew in and heard the concert on Tuesday night. I also had my bass trunk refurbished at David Gage's shop, down in Chinatown on Walker Street. They've worked in all sorts of design improvements, to make it more secure and reduce the weight. I won't pretend it's light, but I was able to carry it up and down the subway stairs, all by myself. (Though it was empty at the time.) I also made it to the Metropolitan Museum, and walked around Central Park - I'll post some pictures soon.

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