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…
This is my view from the stage of our Summer Nights Concert in Schönbrunn. Impressive!
2 weeks after the Vienna City Marathon I wanted to check my running pace. In between rehearsals with Daniel Harding (Mahler, Song from the Earth) and the Neill Shicoff-Gala at the opera, I finished the Salzburg half-marathon in 1:37:01 yesterday! Typically for Salzburg, it rained all day, but the run was fun. I headed back to Vienna to play at the opera the same night. Now we continue the upcoming week with concerts in Cologne, Luxemburg and Vienna with Daniel Harding. I’m very much looking forward to playing the flute solo in Mahler’s “The Farewell” with Matthias Goerne singing.
YESSS! With the immense support of friends and family, the goal I worked for during the last months became reality. It was a big event, about 40 000 runners at the start, and weather and fun-factor were great. Of course I started to fast. But a little bit on purpose, to explore the limits of my body. Until km 25 everything went very well, and I was ahead of my schedule, expecting to finish at a time of around 3:15:00. BUT – there are no miracles in sports. After km 25 I had to reduce my pace, and basically tried just to survive and finish the run. My brother Erich, who oversaw my nutrition, helped me through rather difficult moments during the last part of the race. But we made it, together. My finish time 3:35.49 is not that good, but its a base for upcoming runs and a good experience to see what I have to work on. My next run will be on May 3rd in Salzburg, a half-marathon. I’m very much looking forward to it!