Sunday, April 25, 2010


I'm now at AA's flagship lounge in Miami at the beginning of a month-long "outing". I was lucky enough to spend last week playing at the Aruba International Piano Festival. The name says it all. Lucille joined me and played for  the first few concerts but had to leave a couple of days ago to play Saint-Saens' Second Concerto in Toronto. The rehearsal and performing schedule was supposed to be quite relaxed but because of Eyjafjallaj√∂kull (yes, I copied and pasted that)  things became quite hectic. Three of the musicians were stuck in Europe and we had to come up with a brand new festival on the spot. Lucille did most of the organizing, if not all of it, and I really think it all turned out for the better. The audience enjoyed the new programs very much and we had a lot of fun playing "a lot" of music. On the flip side of it, we couldn't spend any time on Aruba's gorgeous white beaches. Only 15 minutes at the beginning of the festival were enough to give me an embarrassing T-shirt tan which will stay with me a for the next few months. So a lot of unexpected work and no holiday, but then, I'd rather be working looking at the beach and looking forward to a freshly made Pina Colada than anything else. I also met a lot of new wonderful musician friends, and had the feeling that very long friendship started this week. That's an incredibly rewarding feeling.
I now have eight full hours at MIA and no excuse not to update my blog. I am on my way to Bilbao, where I will be rehearsing the Tchaikovsky First Concerto with the Bilbao Symphony to play it in Madrid's Auditorio Nacional on the 29th and in Salamanca on the 30th . This is the concert that triggered that strange exclusivity clause with my contract with the Castilla and Leon  Orchestra last month and saw Lucille come to the rescue...
I am very excited to be playing in the main hall of the Auditorio Nacional for the first time. I played in the recital hall for Joaquin Achucarro's 70th birthday a few years back, and this is now quite a nice event for me. The schedule is pretty hectic. Rehearsals on the 27 and 28, bus to Madrid on the 29, concert in Madrid (at 1030pm!!!), bus to Salamanca on the 30, concert in Salamanca, bus to Bilbao and recital in Mondragon on May 1. Then on May 2 I fly (via Stuttgart!!) to Bari for rehearse a chamber concert on the 5th. I will stay few days in my home town to be with family, get a new tuxedo made, and a couple of suits "touched-up". Lucille will reach me on the 4th and we'll go to Lubeck for the last concert of this segment on the 13th. Back to NYC on the 14th and rehearsing a chamber program on the 15th morning!

The Tres Leches cake in the lounge looks very tempting right now. After a night spent with musicians roaming an island in search of food, running into closed restaurants and ending up at a McDonald's,  a Tres Leches sounds very good! Maybe if I dare venture outside the lounge I can find a nice cuban cafecito somewhere in Miami airport.
Blackberry pictures of a couple of rehearsal breaks in Aruba:


  1. When do you practice? Or while you're touring, do you not practice much, but just keep your fingers in shape a little every day?

  2. That's definitely the most challenging part of touring, since pianists can't bring their own instrument around... So we need to schedule what to practice and when, ahead of time. Unfortunately that might mean forgetting the beach in places like Aruba! But really there is no substitute to practicing!
    Thanks for the post

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