City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Lends a Helping Hand

The CBSO were outstandingly supportive of my trip yesterday, after I was gently cajoled by friends into breaking with tradition and making a short charitable appeal to them in Symphony Hall during our Mahler 5 rehearsal – a speech by a non-member! What next?

The words of encouragement and promises of support were so welcome, and I was also given an inspired gift by Peter Campbell-Kelly: a copy of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. One thing that has been surprising me often when talking about the trip is how many people have said “I think it’s great” rather than “You must be mad”. I’m beginning to think that we all have a Big Trip in us somewhere.

The conductor for this week, CBSO Principal Guest Conductor Ed Gardner, also got into the spirit by asking for the string section to “think of the great Canadian Prairie” for a passage of the famous Adagietto. I know I’ll have that music in my head now when I roll out of Calgary and into the wide-open spaces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

As I said to the band that I’d be gone for the whole summer, we all clearly heard a certain unnamed string principal say “Good!”, in a marked Argentinian accent. Whoever it was, I’m looking forward to HIS generous support.

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