LA Phil Blog

2008 Asia Tour

Like coming back home

Coming to Hong Kong for me has been a bit like coming back home. You see, I lived in Hong Kong for a year from September 2002 to September 2003. The Philharmonic granted me a year’s leave to move to Hong Kong with my husband, an architect for Walt Disney Imagineering. Toby was working on the building of Hong Kong Disneyland during that time. So many memories came flooding back to me as I looked across the harbor to the skyline of Hong Kong Island. It was a precious moment for me. I have been attempting to visit all the places I loved to go to and it has been so great to see friends again that I made while living here. Before coming I put together a list of my “must see picks” for my colleagues. It is good to know that it came in handy for many of them; especially my recommendation for a tailor to see whose shop was quite close to the hotel we have been staying in HK. I hope that the orchestra comes back many more times to Hong Kong. It is a most amazing city.

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First Two Days in Hong Kong

"Hong Kong is an amazing city. We have been here now two complete days and the beauty of the landscape still takes my breath away. Having lived in Honolulu for three years, I see many similarities between the two cities but the breadth and scope of Hong Kong is overwhelming. Obviously it is endless what one can do here but I will just mention a few highlights that will remain with me.

The first night we arrived I managed to take a ferry across the harbor and see the light show, which is a nightly occurrence. Pictures cannot possibly capture the feeling of observing this it is so visceral. Following this with an authentic Chinese meal seemed like the perfect ending to a day of travel from Singapore.

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Rehearsal in Singapore

Flying the Airbus A380 to Singapore

"Despite being extremely hoarse from two consecutive nights of boisterous karaoke in Tokyo, I awake on Friday morning filled with excitement & anticipation. Our concerts so far in Seoul and Tokyo have been exhilarating, but this is the day we get to fly in the new Airbus A380 ! My mind is filled with facts & figures I’ve collected on this remarkable aircraft, the world’s largest passenger plane - $350 million dollars, a tail which stretches up to 7 stories in the air, double deck seating for the entire length of the fuselage, 12 First Class suites with double beds & flat screen TVs, room for as many as 853 passengers(!), and a completely computerized “fly-by-wire” system.

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On to Singapore

"It’s been a great tour so far. Tokyo was an especially unbelievable place. The people there were so eager to assist and serve. Purchasing a small gift for my wife at a department store, the salesperson gave me the feeling it was her greatest pleasure in life to help me.

The flight to Singapore was much more comfortable than I ever expected a 7 hour flight could be – I’m sure the brand new Airbus A380 (think gigantic flying double-decker bus) had a lot to do with that. Unfortunately, as soon as I landed I began having some mild dizziness. Practicing later in the hotel room (with a practice mute – a fixture for us brass players on tour), it felt as if the hotel was experiencing a small earthquake for the entire 90 minutes. A good night’s sleep and a good breakfast the next morning seem to have done the trick in steadying things. I’ll probably take it pretty easy nonetheless.

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Rehearsal at Suntory Hall

Sushi in Tokyo

Morning in Seoul: Breakfast and Press Conferences

"Groundhog Day"

I've been with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for over 30 years; and have been on more tours than I can count.

Every time I leave for a tour, people tell me how lucky I am to be able to travel to places like Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States, while listening to great music. They're right. I am lucky, I have a great job doing something that I am passionate about.

However, there are times when I do not feel lucky at all. Those times usually occur while we are on tour.

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Arriving in Seoul