I awoke this morning in Paris at 6:20 AM to my daughter Victoria, age seven, asking if it was time to get up yet! My daughter has accompanied me and my husband (Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet) on every Philadelphia Orchestra concert tour since she was one year old so she is already a "pro" at touring.
We went to the delicious breakfast buffet at the hotel and got the family onto the bus for the ride to the Paris airport. We met up with Yannick and Pierre [Tourville, Yannick’s partner] while getting to the plane! The private chartered flight to Düsseldorf was extra sweet because Victoria’s cousin (eight years old) sat across the aisle and they held hands at takeoff!
We arrived in Düsseldorf and our fourth concert is tonight! Since there was no sound check onstage before the concert, we had a bit more "downtime" at the hotel. I took my excited daughter to the hotel pool while my husband worked out at the gym. I always feel lucky to have my family with me (husband, child, and aupair) while I tour because I will never need to miss them while I'm away. The flip side is that I am rarely alone for three weeks straight and that can be both positive and, shall I say, less-than-positive at times!
At 6:40 PM I said goodbye to my daughter and hurried off to catch the first bus to the concert hall. It's my first time in this hall so I wanted to get a sense of the backstage area, and also to look over my wardrobe trunk for items I packed and now need. I found snacks, extra toys and books, and clean clothes for all of us! Guess where the laundry bag went? Into the trunk!
We began the concert and I was happy to notice that it was a full house. Performing for a sold-out crowd always feels invigorating! Tonight I felt that our audience wasn't just hearing the performance, but listening with concentration, the ultimate symbiosis.
During the final applause I remembered something my mother once pointed out to me: How wonderful is it that when a musician finishes performing, there is an audience that applauds them? How many other jobs show enthusiasm and appreciation for their efforts and abilities in such a wonderful way? Certainly not your dentist or accountant, though they are just as deserving! I try to never forget what an honor and privilege it is be received so spectacularly by our audiences around the world as a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
I arrived back at the hotel around 11:00 PM. In the morning it's off to Hamburg to a brand new concert hall for two performances. Good night for now!