Paris, France


Dear Readers,

It was so hard to pack today. In the past, a few years ago, I didn’t mind packing, but now it has gotten to the point where I can’t focus when I’m trying to gather my things and I feel sad and can’t get out the door. I almost missed my first flight. I had plenty of time, and I had a packing list and everything, so that wasn’t the issue. For some reason, these days, I don’t enjoy leaving in general. It doesn’t matter where I’m going or where I’m departing from. For example, I am on my way to Paris, one of my favorite cities. I am excited to go, I am looking forward to the place and to the collaboration, and this week will be great! But I did not want to get on that first plane. Once I’m in the cab, it’s fine.

This is my first international trip since the concert season started last week. This is a thrilling time of year; it is gala month. Last week was very intense for me, after three months off: a performance at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, two interviews, three rehearsals, getting back into playing-with-orchestra shape, doing the business side of this career, writing two articles for publication in the fall (one for Gramophone, one for The Strad), making sure my new gowns are ready, learning a piece to perform with OrchKids, and playing the gala season opener with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop. But it kicked me back into the saddle, and here I am! In an airport, on a layover, contemplating buying an ice cream snack from the stand in the middle of the concourse as I try to keep track of everything else I should be doing at the moment.

Hilary