Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Canadian tour #2

Tonight is the last concert of the first portion of Canadian "Prairie Debut" tour. At 1600km of driving through Saskatchewan and 6 concerts in 6 days, this is the shortest of three tours. The next one will be in December and the last one in February, for a total of almost 30 concerts and a few workshops. The program is a healthy mix of four hand works with my wife, Lucille Chung, by Mozart, Brahms, Schmidt (a Canadian composer we commissioned a work from), and Piazzolla. It's been an interesting tour, mainly because of the various small and enthusiastic communities we brought our programs to and some really vast landscapes. I don't think we've ever seen so much sky in our lives!
So we left the "Korean" Travelodge in Melfort. The food was really outstanding! And it included a Ukrainian brunch on the morning we left town. Since Melfort we played to sold out houses, made up with locals, piano teacher(s), and lots of piano students. It was really heart warming to see and talk to these special audiences. And God knows, we needed some warming. Although the temperatures became more friendly and most of the ice melted, we had a bit of an adventure last night in Manitou Beach. We assumed most of the Prairies would be totally flat, but this beautiful spot, a nice lake surrounded by cliffs was not! Last night, coming back from the concert in Watrous, I took a wrong turn, and got ourselves stuck on ice on a winding hill, far away from the main road, and with no phone connection. A ditch was just inches away, while I tried to wiggle the car out of the ice for a good half an hour. It was quite an experience for a Southern Italian like myself. We kind of gave up, when I tried one last time, we somehow magically got out. We were pretty lost, and I just followed the only path my car let me go on, until we ran into some civilization and asked for directions. We got to the main road, finally, but again totally lost. We saw a deer, but didn't want to ask for directions.... and right at that time our phone somehow miraculously got enough connection to log onto Google Maps to get us out.
We asked Lynne Bailey, Executive Directore of PD to rent us a 4X4 car in December!
So tonight is our last concert of this first segment, then a 2 hour drive to Regina airport and two flights to get back home in New York, just in time for my debut recital at the Metropolitan Museum on Nov. 5 .

NYC, and especially our home, will feel very good, I think!

Tough competition, in Melfort

Amazing views

Our dirty car at the end of the tour

no hurry....

Watrous




Prairie life

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