Bonjour from Paris! This is day 14 of our 20 days away from Los Angeles. For those of us who have been in the orchestra for several years, there is a familiarity with performing in this city.
In 1996, the year I joined the orchestra, we had a one-month residency which reignited the push to build Walt Disney Concert Hall. We performed the Rite of Spring with Esa-Pekka and the Paris audience absolutely loved it. The Rite went on to become one of our signature pieces, which we later performed for the opening concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
In 2007 we played at the Salle Pleyel and stayed in the same hotel as we are currently in. We performed the Sibelius symphonies with Esa-Pekka.
This tour brings a whole new sense of wonderment -- Europe with Gustavo. The audiences love him. He is greeted at the artist entrance post-concert by adoring fans. His Beethoven is beyond invigorating and exciting. It has brought the house down in every city!
In 1996, upon experiencing the audiences overwhelming response, I was new to this reaction. Now almost 15 years later, I've learned to expect it. Tonight, however, was even more special. There were more ovations than in any other city so far. There was even the unified, in-rhythm applause that is so exciting when European audiences offer it. Gustavo kept coming back to acknowledge the applause, always bringing the orchestra to their feet and standing within the group. It was a very special evening.