Munich, Germany


Dear Readers,

I’m back in Germany at long last, and while re-acclimating myself to a language I’ve been familiar with for a decade, I’ve decided to sit down and write something in English. My time is limited today and my brain is functioning in German, so please bear with me if my English doesn’t make much sense!

I flew to Munich four days ago to rehearse and perform the Elgar Violin Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sir Colin Davis. It’s been an exhausting yet fantastic experience so far.

I say exhausting, because the concerto, clocking in at 50 minutes long and containing many emotional moments, is the violinistic equivalent of the Ironman. And I say fantastic, because I’m returning to the energetic and extremely musical BRSO, and getting to work with Sir Colin for the first time. The Elgar is chock-full of rhythmic deviations and potential balance difficulties between soloist and orchestra – it’s an enjoyable challenge, and Sir Colin has it nailed. He and I and the London Symphony Orchestra will be recording it together next year, for Deutsche Grammophon; the Elgar will be paired with Vaughan-Williams’s “Lark Ascending”. I’m looking forward to it immensely.

Back to the present, though, we still have one Munich concert left to go – tonight – which means that I should pack away the computer and pull out my violin. Tomorrow I travel on to Zurich; I’ll write next from there.

Yours from Munich,

Hilary