NO7. Chicago – London – and a nice cup of tea

Well everyone, this is the last blog of the tour. I expect someone else will do the next one as I seem to have filled the server to capacity with my ramblings.We have left the sunny, warm New York City for the sunny, cold Chicago. This morning we flew in and had a few hours to have lunch or look around. Chicago is one of the noisiest cities I have ever been too, partly due to their underground trains, which run about 30 feet above street level on iron girders. Its still called the subway. Who said Americans didn’t do irony?

The hall in Chicago is one of the most beautiful I have played in and has more dressing rooms than a spice girls reunion concert. It has warm up rooms for the leader, principal cello, conductor, principal horn and others. I stopped looking as soon as I realised there was no room for a Principal flute. Typical. My favourite rooms though were the rooms where you couldn’t play, three of them actually. I am not making this up, they really are called A Quiet Room, B Quiet Room and C Quiet Room. I was going to take a picture, but I couldn’t be bothered, it being the end of the tour and all, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

The concert was great. I don’t know where Colin gets his energy from, I really don’t. He had, pretty much the same travel arrangements as us, and I was very tired. He however seems to just keep going !

Paul Lewis was again, very well received by the audience with even louder cheers than in NY. The review of his last performance suggested he eat a few Weetabix for breakfast. I had hoped to report on this, but he was staying in a more upmarket hotel. But it sounded like it.

After the show, I had a couple of drinks in Millers bar by the hotel and then turned in for an early night. I was very pleased to discover that I had been provided with the most comfortable bed I had ever slept in. I know this because I don’t remember going to sleep and I woke up about 10 hours later.

We had a few hours before our flight so, the orchestra dispersed around Chicago for the morning until we reconvened for the flight home overnight.

By the time you read this, we will have arrived back in London on Wednesday morning and then its back to work on Thursday morning for the next patch of work. Its hard work, but then , you now know how much fun we’ve been having so I can hardly moan. I am looking forward to seeing my family and having a cup of tea in typical British fashion, but looking back, its been a very successful trip and a most enjoyable one.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog. If you have, let us know, leave a comment or send us an email. Its always nice to hear from you.



About LSO

The London Symphony Orchestra is one of the world's top orchestras. Our home is at the Barbican Centre in the City of London where we play over 80 concerts every year, but we also spend quite a bit of time out on the road, touring all over the world. Recently we have toured to Germany, France, Russia, New York, Japan, Holland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Lithuania; and coming up this year are China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Spain, Portugal, Florida, Romania and a return visit to New York, where we are resident at the Lincoln Center.
This entry was posted in Gareth Davies, New York/Chicago October 2007. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to NO7. Chicago – London – and a nice cup of tea

  1. Margaret Webb says:

    I am a great classical music enthusiast, Mozart especially and just writing to say how much I have enjoyed reading your blogs. Not only were they very informative but written in such a delightful, humorous way. Look forward to more of the same whenever it is possible. Welcome home after what sounds like a very hectic but worthwhile tour.

  2. Katie says:

    I agree with the above wholeheartedly, but unfortunately you have left us with the one burning question – what happened to all that excess baggage, or is Chicago awash with bubbles in the rain from vast quantities of shampoo? Many thanks for an enjoyable few days, far better than the newspapers.

  3. lsoontour says:

    I am so sorry to have left you on tenterhooks Katie ! I am happy to report that the problem was solved by the luggage allowance clarification note left on the LSO noticeboard. It stated that we could take 2 suitcases of up to 23 kgs. So, you guessed it, the luggage shops of Chicago did a roaring trade, and I have never seen so many players dragging two suitcases with them. The shampoo in question arrived in a suitcase shared only with some boots and some jeans. I also have to point out that the person in question isn’t very hairy at all, but in fact rather lovely. Just thought I’d clear that up. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Henry Holland says:

    “Who said Americans didn’t do irony?”

    Or: we’re thick as planks, your choice. 🙂

    Loved the travelogue, I’m glad the concerts went so well. Please come to Los Angeles soon, if you enjoyed that sonic nightmare Avery Fisher Hall –OK, maybe it’s different for flautists than audience members in Row Z!!– then you’d *love* the Disney Hall. Hmmm…an all Berlioz program would be nice….

  5. Javier says:

    Gareth, you are the best flute player. Culd you teld why you didn´t played the principal flute on Mahler 6 symphony?

    Thanks a lot for this blog

  6. lsoontour says:

    Thanks Javier ! I’m glad you enjoyed the blog.
    In answer to your question, the LSO has 2 principal players in every section to ease the heavy workload. This means that we share programmes quite a lot when we go on tour. Mahler 6 has 5 flutes in it, and so we had a guest principal (as we currently have a vacancy for the other principal flute) and I played piccolo. The same thing happened last week in Billy Budd.
    Next week I am playing Principal again !
    Hope that answers your question.

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