Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our tour so far

Below is a message from Bernhard Scully, principal horn, about the first couple of days of the tour:

For those of you who don’t know me, I am the new principal horn of the orchestra, having joined last year. This is my first international tour with the SPCO and I am having a BLAST!! We’ve only been in Europe for five days and have already played three concerts in three different cities…Copenhagen, Oslo, and Hamburg. Tomorrow we’re off to Gothenburg, Sweden, and the next day (which is our final tour day) we play in Stockholm. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to play in all these wonderful concert halls for all these amazing audiences with this incredible orchestra! Everyone has been so wonderful to us and I have enjoyed every minute so far.

Saturday evening I joined a bunch of my colleagues for a delicious feast at a local Danish restaurant. I had a mallard dish and a special Danish cheese plate, accompanied by some tasty Danish Christmas Ales. These Danes surely know how to put a great meal together. It was a wonderful way to start off the tour… good food, good friends, and great discussion!

I had the whole day of Sunday to take a nice stroll through Copenhagen (and attempt to get over my jet lag). It is a very quaint and lovely city with many small winding streets. The streets often lead into bustling squares with street musicians, vendors, and myriads of other activities going on. It has plenty of small shops, exquisite restaurants, and the people are as nice as can be. I had a great lunch that day with Tim Paradise, principal clarinet. We went to a Turkish restaurant to have some healthier fare (balancing out the beer and meat).

After lunch and a great conversation ranging from the relationship between European and American politics to him giving me some great wine recommendations, we decided to do some more walking. We just happened to come upon a bunch of SPCO musicians, including the new president Sarah Lutman! Everyone was watching Father Christmas light the huge Christmas tree at the center of the town square, right by the famous Tivoli amusement park. As Santa climbed up and up the ladder, he finally reached the top of the tree. He then lit a gigantic flame that lighted the star along with the rest of the tree’s decorations. It was an amazing sight and I was lucky enough to capture the whole thing on video which I will enjoy showing to my young daughter when I get home.

Our concert on Monday was a thrilling experience. The concert hall was beautiful and it was a pleasure to begin our collaboration with Nicolai Znaider once again. The audience packed the hall and everyone was buzzing with excitement. I felt the concert went very well, especially considering how tired we were from the traveling and jet lag so far. It really got our tour off to a great start. After the performance, Paul Straka (second horn) and I went out to meet up with some more horn players from both Denmark and Sweden for some beers. We tried beers that ranged from Belgian Cherry Ales, to ales made by Trappist monks. One of the perks of being a horn player is the incredible camaraderie we maintain with one another. The instrument does something to bond us together, whether we live in Europe, America, or wherever! Both Paul and myself enjoyed a marvelous evening of music-making, good beer, and great company. How could you ask for anything more?

Next entry… Oslo and Hamburg… stay tuned!!


Bernhard Scully
Principal Horn, SPCO

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