LCO Hong Kong Tour, November 2015
If there is one thing that orchestral players are 100% agreed on, it is that they love touring abroad – especially if they are in one place for more than one night. So it was a very upbeat LCO that travelled to Hong Kong for a five day visit in late November at the invitation of Musicus Society. The visit combined education work (school visits and instrumental coaching), as well as public concerts, and culminated with 20 HK students joining LCO on City Hall’s (extended) stage for the last movement of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony.
Showing their normal flexibility, LCO’s players had swapped between the more conventional (orchestral rehearsal at HK’s Cultural Centre) and slightly more left-field activities (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony played by just nine people, fair enough, but with Chinese drums instead of timpani?!). Moreso, I was very sad to have missed Joely Koos singing to 500 school children whilst accompanying herself on the cello.
Those who know me will assume that my highlight will have been a culinary one. It is safe to say that there were a few of those (crab with ginger and spring onions – yes please), but in fact that final movement of the Jupiter was memorable in so many ways: the quality of playing from everyone involved was very high and it was incredibly moving to see the interaction between the LCO players and the younger students that they had been coaching that week.
It is always nice to get home from a tour (however short), but flying from 25 degree sunshine in HK and landing at Heathrow where it was 20 degrees colder… and 4.30 am… and raining…. well, let’s say LCO can’t wait to get on a plane together again.