Germany – A Tour of Many ‘Firsts’

Frozen in Time, a new piece of repertoire for the BSO.

Martin Grubinger, a new soloist to the BSO (and UK!) and the first percussion soloist to perform with the orchestra for many years.

If you missed the orchestra’s performance in the Lighthouse before we headed off on our German tour you missed a treat! I must admit I didn’t know what to expect of this new work but it was genuinely thrilling.

Martin Grubinger was outstanding; he maintained relaxed focus and attention as he weaved his way around the vast array of percussion instruments surrounding him and smiled throughout the whole performance. He held the audience captive and his encore Planet Rudiment was a display of sheer virtuosity.

So I was thoroughly looking forward to playing this piece alongside the Tchaikovsky on our short trip to Hamburg, Bremen and Wilhelmshaven at the beginning of this month.

It is a fantastic part of the job seeing other cultures and cities and experiencing other halls and audiences – all of which were superb. The bass section was on fine form too, enjoying all the marvellous German cuisine and post concert refreshments..!

Another first for me on this trip was the opportunity to visit my great Uncle’s war grave about an hour’s drive south of Bremen. I am the first member of my family to visit and I found the whole experience very moving at such a poignant time of year too. It certainly brought home the real facts of WWII; there were many very brave young people.

So now we are back in Poole and looking forward to the rest of the season, perhaps most of all to the new pieces I’ve not played before. I’m always interested to play anything new; as the last few weeks have proven, it can be very refreshing and pleasantly surprising when you experience new things.

Our audience arriving at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg

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