After a Vienna Phil concert today in Livorno, Italy (Zubin Mehta, Beethoven 6 and 7) and Lohengrin tomorrow at Vienna State Opera I’m leaving to Japan on Wednesday.
My concert schedule includes the Mozart Concertos D and G with the Yamagata and Kyoto Symphony Orchestras as well as the Ibert Concerto with the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra.
In-between are very nice Recital with marvellous pianist Ryoko SAWAKI (photo) including music by Roussel, Fauré , Casella, Taffanel, Poulenc and the Sonatas by Franz Schubert (Arpeggione), Richard Strauss and César Franck in Gifu, Nagoya, Tokyo (Nikkei-Hall and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan) and Kagoshima.
I’m very much looking forward to meet many friends, perform in marvellous concert halls and enjoy the best food in the world!
FLÛTES DU ROY
Flute-music for Kings and Emperors
Musikverein, Gläserner Saal
3rd May 2016, 8 p.m.
This is the breakfast you enjoy the next day AFTER the Vienna City Marathon! Cafe Schwarzenberg opposite Musikverein is one of my favourite places for breakfast in vienna.
But back to the Marathon. The race on sunday was hard. Cold and windy. Even the professionals struggled with the weather conditions. But who cares! I had a great run, much better than last year. Could keep my pace until km 35 and then just tried to survive and not to loose too much time until km 42,195.
The 3:22:50 is my personal record – so I’m really happy.
Same day in the afternoon I had a chamber music rehearsal at the opera. I was a bit exhausted, but fine. Free evening and early going to bed finished another Marathon day in my life.
A colorful concert tour is done. We started in Paris and continued to Munich, Vienna, Budapest, New York City, Naples/Fl, Bogota and Sao Paolo. Many concerts and a lot of travelling for the orchestra and Maestro Valery Gergiev are behind us. Next to the concerts I enjoyed my masterclasses in Naples/Fl and Sao Paolo. I met nice students and some very good flutists.
The contrast between sunny 30 degrees in Sao Paolo/ Brazil, and below zero temperatures, rain, snow and wind in Vienna was quite something, but we hope that the winter will not last much longer this year. The easter bunny is around the corner!
On April 10, 2016 will be my next attempt at the Vienna City Marathon. From today on 7 weeks and 3 days should be enough time for good preparation. The training in the last winter weeks was quite irregular. My concert schedule was too tight. But from next week on, my training tracks will be in Budapest and New York Central Park – and then in sunny Florida (Naples) Colombia (Bogota) and Brasil (Sao Paolo).
Thanks to Vienna Phil and Maestro Gergiev
After returning from a truly intense fortnight in Japan, I enjoyed a lovely holiday with my even lovelier family in St. Anton. Just barely enough to build up enough stamina to get through this crazy week – the orchestra has a small tour to Munich and Paris coming up, and I thought, well, frankly, that is too boring for me, I need a little more (just kidding of course)… So I scheduled a performance of Mozart’s Flute and Harp-Concerto in Villach, my hometown, with my wonderful colleague Anneleen Lenaerts on Wednesday.
But how to get to rehearsals and concerts in the middle of a tour to somewhere completely different? The solution I came up with is sort of fun in a way: I rented a really comfortable car and my fabulous niece Johanna Auer as a driver, and she will take us to Klagenfurt after the opera on Tuesday (Rusalka, that I’ve never really played before, just to keep things spicy), to Munich after the rehearsal on Wednesday, back to Villach after the concert in Munich on Wednesday, and back home to Vienna after the concert on Thursday, just in time to catch the plane to Paris on Friday morning.
All in a week’s work… Lots of wonderful music and lots of time on the road – looking forward to both in a way!
Allow me introduce you to my esteemed former flute professor Johannes von Kalckreuth. He was a legendary flute professor at the Conservatory in Klagenfurt, and he had the most decisive influence on my career. Noble and gentle by nature, he always taught from the piano (that he played fantastically well!), and flute playing was always about the music first and foremost. His kindness fostered a closely-knit group of students that harbored no unnecessary competitiveness. Always deeply religious, he spent almost all his salary on charity, living in a small council apartment filled with the remaining paintings and antiques from former family splendor. Our daughter Marianna, then aged 4, once asked to go “back to that museum” after visiting him.
During the last two years, his mental health has slowly, but surely started to decline, and as of last year, he can no longer live on his own, but is now housed in a room at a Caritas Home. Forgetful of the presence, living ever more in the past, his sweet and charming nature make him a favorite to everyone.
I took the opportunity to visit him just after Christmas. My former flute class colleague, the brilliant and incomparable Lorenz Pichler, is still well known to him because of his frequent visits. He did not recognize me, but remembered my name and my career, I suppose he was expecting somebody at least 15 years younger… What struck and touched me is that the core of his personality is completely unchanged, and while his constant disorientation could anger a less temperate man, he seems to have accepted his illness and asks about facts in his own life with amused interest, is delighted by good news, even if he does not remember it minutes later, and continues to be the delightful and lovable man we all remember.
As dementia-research often points out that musical memory stays on very long, I am sure that he still remembers a lot of flute music – his 80th birthday is coming up this summer and we will fill his home with his favorite melodies for the day, putting on a concert with many of his former pupils.
I will have the great honor to receive the annual Cultural Award of my hometown Villach this coming december. Many of my predecessors are renowned painters as well as my former teacher Michael M. Kofler. I’m pleasantly surprised and honored. Thank you very much!
We are on a almost 3 weeks tour through Asia with Christoph Eschenbach and a lot of Mozart. And sometimes very precious and unforgettable moments happen on the way. Like Maestro Seiji OZAWA leading a rehearsal and conducting Beethovens “Egmont” Ouverture at Suntory Hall, Tokyo.
The most beautiful place: Austria – Carinthia, lake Ossiachersee, high above in the sky…