11 May 2011

Michael Fuller writes: We're off on tour today, so that means up at 6:30, catching the train from London Bridge station down to Gatwick Airport for a charter flight to Luxembourg. After grabbing a double sausage McMuffin in a slightly guilt-ridden homage to my American roots, it's a short flight to the Continent (fortunately for my legs). Then we'll have a little time this afternoon for lunch and maybe a quick nap. After that it's a short walk to the hall for a touch-up rehearsal before we return to Mahler's Sixth, in a repeat of our UK concerts from a couple weeks ago.

All this makes for a long day, and we have to be most concentrated at the end of it, to bring our best to the concert. Well, the concert isn't quite the end of the day because there will certainly be drinks after!

The adage 'work hard, play hard' definitely applies to the Philharmonia on tour. I'm always amazed at how the orchestra can bring high energy and intense concentration to demanding programs like tonight's, no matter how far we've travelled and how little sleep we've gotten. Like Simon said in his last post, tour means late nights and early mornings. The thing is, after playing a crazy piece like Mahler's Sixth, going straight to bed is out of the question!

I also like how the vibe in the orchestra changes when we tour. In London, everybody is running in a thousand different directions, balancing family, teaching and possibly other work along with the Philharmonia's busy schedule. On tour, we are together 24/7 and that's when you really get to know your colleagues. There's no question it makes us better as a group, going through all these adventures together. Stay tuned in to our blog, we'll keep you posted every step of the way!