This week, a few days before Easter and 1 1/2 weeks before my big day at the Vienna City Marathon, I visited Toyko for only two days. And so I can add Tokyo after Vienna, Athens, Hamburg, Munich and New York to the cities where I had my intense training runs for the upcoming marathon. Sakura are in full bloom in Tokyo and while circling the Imperial Palace grounds I felt that I was performing a very efficient form of hanami..
In the evening I joined my friend Julien Beaudiment for his wonderful concert “Strings for Flute”. I was part of one encore and I enjoyed it tremendously! By the way: Congratulation Julien for becoming the new flute professor at Lyon Conservatory!!
Back in Vienna I finished my last long distance run of more than 4 hours this morning. Elektra tonight will be done in less than half!
Some of you might be aware of the fact that the Musikverein houses an extensive collection of musical manuscripts, prints and so on, but that a sizable, impressive number of historic musical instruments are also part of the deal is almost a secret… Archive Director Dr. Otto Biba is the warden and guardian of these treasures. The musical instruments are housed in a state-of-the-art vault-like storage room deep down in the cellar, and one cupboard is filled with traverse flutes!
A couple of months ago, we had the the privilege of trying a few of them, and selected two flutes to be played at a concert next week. These are by Schöllnast, Preßburg makers at the beginning of the 19th centuries. During the last weeks, Julia has carefully tried to reacquaint them with being played, and they have reacted very well, almost seeming to enjoy the process.. The series of concerts with musical instruments is aptly called “Nun klingen sie wieder..”, roughly translated as “Now they sound again”. If you would like to hear flutes that have been silent for decades, if not centuries, join us on April 8th at Musikverein/Brahmssaal!
After the NYC concerts (Brahms Symphonies @ Carnegie Hall) and icy-cold days of intensive training in Central Park (or Munich, Hamburg and Athens, before) I’m back in Vienna and in the final weeks of my preparation for the upcoming Vienna City Marathon on April 12th. 7 years (Marianna’s age) have gone by since my last full marathon!
Of course I’m taking it seriously – only good preparation guarantees fun and (a more less) good time on the big day. My test run, a half-marathon last weekend went pretty well. Now I know better what time I’d like to beat. But of course, I’m not telling anyone… Let’s see, there are 3 more weeks to go…
2015 is officially my year of family, sports and vacation! Nice! After an extraordinary intense travel and concert schedule in the past few years, I will try to spend as much time as possible at home this year. Sorry for the cancelling of concerts, masterclasses or competition-jury-memberships. But I can tell you, that after a week of skiing-vacation in St. Anton/Tyrol I’m refreshed and looking forward to starting the rehearsals of the upcoming all Brahms-symphonies cycle with Daniele Gatti. Vienna, Athens, Hamburg, Munich and New York – Vienna Phil is on its way…
Yes it was exciting! And hard. You cannot compare any concert or performance during the year with the intensity and atmosphere of the New Years Concert. I’m happy that everything went very well, and me and my fantastic colleague Karin BONELLI on the piccolo had a lot of fun on stage. Zubin Mehta was impressive inspiring and created one of the most elegant New Years Concerts of the last years
A few floors under the Golden Hall I’m going to perform a very different concert in the Glass Hall at Musikverein next week. With my friends Martin Rummel (violoncello) and Christopher Hinterhuber (piano) we will recreate the sounds “…from the beginning of time”. George Crumb “Vox Balaenae” (voice of the whale) is one of my favourite chamber music pieces. We also play Trios by Hummel and Mendelssohn, and I will start the second part with Luciano Berio’s “Sequenza 1”. More Info here.
Every 3 years I get to perform at the musical olympics: our New Year’s Concert in the amazing Golden Hall of the Musikverein. I personally always really appreciate the stunning floristic decoration. What you never see on TV is that as soon as the concert is over, audience members start pulling it apart and take it home. Actually quite a nice keepsake of this special event.
I guess most of you know the gilded statue of Johann Strauß II in Vienna’s Stadtpark. Well, the foyer of Harmony Hall in Fukui (a splendid hall, by the way) boasts a statue that is even more impressive, at least to flutists – an amazing, life-sized, flute-playing lady! And while I’ve never taken a picture of myself in front of Johann Strauß so far, I most certainly couldn’t resist this opportunity. And all kidding aside, I’m touched by the thought that the very essence of “harmony” is embodied by a flutist…
Hiroshima, Tajimi, Okayama…the first 3 concerts on our Wiener Virtuosen tour are done! Great ensemble, colourful program, amazing concert halls, lovely audiences, and so motivated school orchestras when we have some coaching sessions with them. The “Carmen Fantasy” is running very well and I’m having fun. But it’s not easy to calm down to a “normal” speed level, when you travel with Shinkansen train every day…!
Sometimes my best concerts happen when I don’t expect it at all. Yesterday night at Minoo, Maple-Hall, outside of Osaka, almost in the countryside, fresh air, green mountains and a very nice concert hall…
Together with brilliant pianist Ryoko SAWAKI we were able to create a breathtaking atmosphere from Schubert “Arpeggione”, via Enescu and Taffanel to Franck “Sonata”. And the great supportive audience accompanied us on our exciting journey through this romantic music, in the best sense of the word.
A marvellous concert evening took place not in Carnegie, or Suntory, or Musikverein-Hall: it happened in the countryside outside Osaka, and we LOVED it!
Recital, Auer-Sawaki, Minoo Maple-Hall, October 30, 2014
Sometimes it’s weird when and where I write my posts. After a packed week – touring with wonderful guitar player Janez Gregoric in Austria, an Auers’ Flutery lecture concert in Vienna and a Wiener Virtuosen concert at Musikverein (yes, an event every night) – I’m now at Helsinki airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Osaka. The next days are full and packed – but only with beautiful music: our Mozart d-major concerto the day after tomorrow with Kyoto Symphony Orchestra (great conductor Naoto OTOMO) in Kyoto, the recital in Osaka Minoo-Hall with marvellous pianist Ryoko Sawaki (Schubert Arpeggione, Enescu, Taffanel Freischuetz and Franck Sonata) on Thursday, and then the following Japan concert tour with my brilliant colleagues of the WIENER VIRTUOSEN, where I will try to do my best in Bizet/Bornes Carmen Fantasy. I’m very much looking forward to my last Japan concert tour in this year 2014!