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Gewandhaus Orchestra takes the long road

Always a busy bunch, the Gewandhaus Orchestra took off on a tour through Europe this autumn, bringing their special breed of musical joy to cities both on and off the continent, including Birmingham, Dublin and Paris.

Compared to the whirlwind tour of the continent that the Gewandhaus Orchestra played during the summer, the fall tour was a breeze. Traveling between just the three cities of Paris, Birmingham and Dublin in one week, the group had little time to appreciate the beauty in each city but found the acoustics in the concert halls worth writing home about.

Kicking off the tour in the French capital city, the orchestra was in a for a real surprise when they stepped on stage and realized there were a number of VIP guests in the audience, including German Maestro Kurt Masur. After a rousing rendition of Rachmaninoff's Symphony, the orchestra was presented with the “Orphée d´Or” backstage – an honor to kick off a long week of touring with.

The north of England may not be known as the home of classical music, but that didn't stop the city from building one of the most beautiful and acoustically-pleasing concert halls in Europe, as the orchestra discovered when they arrived in Birmingham.

Designed by Russell Johnson, the building was constructed so as to offer just the right acoustics for any concert, as the orchestra discovered. Impressed not only by the acoustics inside, the players remarked equally on the hall's location, its backstage area and the easy access provided for the sometimes difficult delivery of the orchestral instruments. The players' good feelings carried on into the night as they played to rousing applause.


Ireland likewise paid a warm welcome to the Gewandhaus crew. Posted outside the exhibition center-turned-National Concert Hall was an advertisement remarking on the conductor's genius: “Chailly is one of a handful of living conductors who genuinely deserves to be called great.”

Chailly wasn't the only one showcasing his talents on that evening, as the clarinetist earned a standing ovation for her solo during Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony. The horn section felt the audience's love as well for their interpretation of Schostakowitsch's Cello concert.

The stopover in Dublin likewise included a special Reinhold string quartet concert at the house of the German Ambassador to Ireland, Dr. Eckhard Lübkemeier. An intimate evening that was enjoyed by all after a long, full week.

To read more about this and see more photos from the tour, have a look at their blog (only available in German) here: Link / New Window