Simon Oliver writes: Last night we had our first rehearsal with Maestro Lorin Maazel and it showed just how great this Mahler symphony cycle is going to be! Instant connection between the maestro and the orchestra with some great music making from the opening bars. He is very clear and precise in what he wants and is a superb communicator.

We are currently driving up to Manchester from London for our first concert. A five hour drive which fellow bass player Matt Gibson has bravely agreed to undertake. Five of us are in the car, four bass players (large),and a violinist (petite!) and so far we are still friends!

Tonight's concert includes the First Symphony and the Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen and we are looking forward to a great evening. This is a fascinating pairing of pieces because Mahler used material from the song cycle in the first and third movements of the symphony. 'The Titan' symphony as it is known, with its triumphant finale, is sure to bring the house down, and we want to achieve the same results at the Festival Hall in London on Tuesday. We will keep you posted...or even better, join us!