Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian plays bass in an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Blog of the Tour – part two

Saturday, January 31

The first post veered way off topic, I’m afraid. I’ll try and stick to the subject matter at hand – a group of Americans flying g to Japan and China to play German and Austrian music under a conductor from the Netherlands.

Breakfast today – Grande Latte at Starbucks. Returning to the Hotel, I stopped in the lobby to glance at the bulletin board set up for orchestra members and noted about half of the space was dedicated to breakfast in one way or another. I wonder if any Japanese folks curious about what is going on have had a peek at our board (it’s hard to avoid if you come in the front door, actually) and wondered if the Culinary Society of Ohio might be in town, with the primary mission of tasting the breakfast options available and an auxiliary function of putting on a few concerts.

Haitink is pretty adamant about wanting a lot of rehearsals on tour – more than we are used to. Today we had one of these ‘acoustic’ (or sound-check, or warm-up) rehearsals from 4:30 – 5:15 before the 6 PM concert in Yokohama. I’m not convinced we needed to do that since we spent the day before rehearsing there. For those playing the entire program (Mozart 41, Strauss Ein Heldenleben) 45 minutes seemed too short to get a square meal in a strange land, and those of us only playing Heldenleben had two hours to wander aimlessly around the Minato Mirai complex. Despite those minor annoyances, the concert was a smashing success.

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