This is my last day at home before the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra set off on tour to the Czech Republic tomorrow lunchtime. The RLPO have enjoyed two Czech Chief Conductors, Libor Pesek and Petr Altrichter, so as a result we have been regular visitors to that stunningly beautiful part of the world.
We will be spending the first three nights in Prague before travelling to the home town of Leos Janacek, Ostrava, for one night.
The orchestra will be conducted by Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko and will be offering two cracking programmes in Prague…
First Night Programme
Janacek – From The House of the Dead – Orchestral Suite
Berg – Early Songs
Soloist – Lisa Larsson
Elgar – Symphony No. 1 in A-flat Major
Second Night Programme
Brahms – Piano Concerto in D Minor
Soloist – Paul Lewis
Dvorak – Symphony No. 7 in D Minor
This concert is to be recorded for a deferred broadcast on Czech Radio.
The Prague concerts will be in the spectacular Municipal House, known to us as the Smetana Hall. On our last visit we played in the Dvorak Hall. Our lodgings, the Hotel Prague, is an amazing half an hour walk away, just on the other side of the Vltava/Moldau and we have an evening free on arrival to enjoy one of my favourite cities before being reunited with our instruments to take our places for the world famous Prague Spring Festival.
We have been rehearsing and performing the repertoire for the tour back at Philharmonic Hall over the last week.
On Thursday we travel by train all the way across the Czech Republic to Ostrava. It has been a few years since the RLPO came here, playing the Sinfonietta by Janacek. We will be appearing at the City Cultural Centre to play in the Janacek International Music Festival.
The Programme For Ostrava
Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 1
Soloist – Paul Lewis
Elgar – Symphony No.1 in D Minor
We leave for the return journey early on Friday morning, arriving back around seven in the evening.
As per usual, I will be offering those interested a running commentary as the tour unfolds via this blog. Pictures of the local scenery, the food, the events, the concert halls, the famous beer etc, the music and all the events along the way. So, stay tuned and I’ll do my best to make you all feel like you are joining us on tour on a daily basis.
Trumpet-wise, the section for the tour will be myself, Paul Marsden and regular extra Dave Hooper. Our section leader Principal Trumpet, Rhys Owens, is indisposed for this trip.
As already mentioned, our instruments and concert clothing etc have gone on ahead. Therefore, the tour has already begun for our two Platform Managers, Ian van Driver (his daughter was formerly known as Mini van Driver but she has grown taller over the years!) and Alan Scollins who have set off with the RLPO lorry two days earlier than the rest of us (via a night in Germany) to get everything ready in preparation for our arrival.
Meanwhile, back at home, my son’s rock band, Whitecliff, have been studying with Sir Paul Macartney this week, including some one-to-one songwriting sessions with the Liverpool legend!