LA Phil Blog

San Francisco

What we're reading

A quick sampling of what our musicians are reading on the road:

- The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (Ingrid Hutman, viola)

- Gone Tomorrow by Lee Childs (Jonathan Karoly, cello)

- Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (Robert Gupta, First Violin)

- A Town Like Alice by Nevil Schute (Larry Sonderling, First Violin)

- Nothing Normal in Cork by Chris Coulson (Brian Drake, Horn)

- Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder (Anne Gabriele, Oboe)

- The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee (Meredith Snow, Viola)

- Helliconia Winter by Brian Aldiss (Michele Zukovsky, Principal Clarinet)

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Birthdays and Art in San Francisco

One might wonder what the two things above have in common. It turns out they are both Stills. On the right is a Clyfford Still, currently on view at a wonderful 75th anniversary exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. On the left is Los Angeles Philharmonic trumpet player Chris Still, currently enjoying his birthday here in San Francisco. Without doubt his celebration was enhanced by a rowdy but heartfelt chorus of Happy Birthday that started this evening's acoustic rehearsal.

Waking late and recovering from a night at a San Francisco speakeasy called Bourbon and Branch (how could a person fail to order a drink called "The Naughty Sundress"?) I wondered how I could possibly fit in a visit to SFMOMA with time to spare to meet a good SF friend for lunch. In Los Angeles, this agenda would be doomed to failure. But amazingly enough, the museum and lunch site both turned out to be just blocks from our hotel on Market Street. This level of geographical convenience made virtually no sense at all, but I ran with it anyway.

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Playing through the fog

Coming back to San Francisco is always exhilarating! It was my home for nearly 8 years and I'm always tickled to see my favorite landmarks: the spires of St. Ignacious Church, Sutro Tower, Stern Grove, and the stunning Golden Gate Bridge. My heart starts to race when I see the Civic Center and Davies Hall, where we performed tonight. I miss many things about this dynamic city - but the fog is definitely not one of them! It was hovering all around us as we landed, boarded our buses and walked on Market Street. Today's fog was mixed with some patches of blue sky and an occasional glint of sunlight - just enough to be invigorating…or maybe I’m just excited about tonight’s performance!

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Photos: The Orchestra Travels to San Francisco!

The Day in San Francisco

Yesterday Clyde and I went to Chinatown for some Dim Sum. We had the most amazing shrimp dumplings we have ever had! As much as we wanted to have more of those great dumplings today, instead we went down to Fisherman's Wharf to have a great feed on seafood. I had the yummiest sole and wild mushrooms in a decadent parmesan cream sauce. I know what I'll be attempting when I get home! The concert last night went so well - I'm excited about tonight's.

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What Gustavo Does Between Flights

LA Phil VP of Artistic Planning Chad Smith and Gustavo Dudamel take advantage of a flight delay to program concerts for future seasons.

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Oh, the joys(?) of tour travel.

Every member of the orchestra has been getting ready for tour in their own way. Suffice it to say, I am a bit too organized for my own good and have been getting ready for this tour for weeks. Sunday is spent with packing and seeing to last minute "to do" lists; among them, planting our front yard border with succulents before the heat of summer sets in.

I am pleased that I have managed to pack only 7 pairs of shoes. My bag weighs 45 lbs. I am good to go.

The bus departs WDCH at 8:30 to LAX. We have those of our management team traveling with us, our "shepherds", to make sure we travel safely and securely together We all survive check in and security to find our flight to SFO is delayed ultimately by two hours. So, what does an orchestra on tour do waiting for a flight? Pretty much what anybody else does in this predicament. We sleep, we eat, we read, we chat, we check on emails.

We finally arrive safely to our hotel by mid afternoon. Now we all do what we have to do to get ready for our first performance on our first tour with Gustavo. Many eyes are on us as we perform with this remarkably gifted young musician.

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