On Sunday, September 4th, I accompanied the Radio Sinfonieorchester Berlin as principal cellist up to the hallowed halls (er, make that barn) of Ulrichshusen in the beautiful German province of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, an area known for its numerous lakes and wealthy vacationers from Hamburg. Ulrichshusen is a miniature 16th-century castle situated directly on a little lake, and the adjacent barn is a venue for the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a summer festival that makes good use of disused barns in order to entertain said wealthy (and to their credit, very appreciative) vacationers from Hamburg. We played Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Violin Concerto (performed by the extremely impressive Veronika Eberle) and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony with the very young conductor David Afkham. During softer passages we were accompanied by barn swallows.
Next stop (after a brief sojourn in Berlin to do laundry, organize myself, and try to write a little): Amsterdam, where I’ll be subbing as principal cellist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, a very exciting prospect indeed. The program includes some Dutch composers I must admit I haven’t yet heard of, Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, and Bartok’s Second Piano Concerto with Lang Lang and conductor Stefan Asbury. The concerts are on September 22nd and 23rd, and the program details can be found here.