At the end of my first year exams at uni I treated myself to a ticket to see Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto at Birmingham Symphony Hall (the treat was the time, not the money. It wasn’t very expensive at all – £4). And I completely fell in love with the place. I went straight to the info desk and asked how I could get a job there. Continue reading
Another programme note – this time for Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony. I really enjoyed researched this piece (and playing it!) and reflecting back on my trip to Russia.
I’ve started writing programme notes for the amateur orchestra I play in. They’re only going to be seen by the 50 or so people that buy the programme, so I thought I would share them here, even though they aren’t really related to music travel.
2017 is a pretty big year. Both me and Russia are marking big anniversaries. I celebrated a significant birthday, and Russia marked the centenary of the 1917 Revolution. So, you know, basically the same. I decided, ‘why not “celebrate” both’?! St Petersburg and Moscow were both places I’ve always wanted to visit, but they’re both a little more special (and distant) than a typical European city break / weekend-away, so it seemed ideal to combine the two anniversaries!
I was lucky enough to go to the press launch of the new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum today – it’s called Opera: Passion, Power and Politics and officially opens this Saturday 30th September. The way the exhibition is structured is around 7 different operas and 7 cities, and the relationship between each – so, absolutely perfect for this blog about music and travel. I don’t think I can claim this is a review but I can share some thoughts about my visit. Continue reading
I love opera and I love Mahler. So it’s kind of inevitable that someone like me is going to be very keen to visit Vienna State Opera as soon as I have the chance. As with other Viennese places I’ve blogged about, visiting around the time of my summer birthday means no performances. But we did head inside for a tour and got to see some things we wouldn’t have done if we’d just gone to a performance. Continue reading
When planning my recent Russian trip, I spent a fascinating yet morbid evening on the website findagrave.com. In Vienna I’d read that the Zentralfriedhof cemetery was a fascinating place to visit but we ran out of time and it’s somewhere I hope to revisit. I anticipate, though, that it’s unlikely I’ll visit St Petersburg again and so I wanted to make sure I ticked off paying homage to some musical heroes whilst I was there. Continue reading