We flew in this morning to Cologne, Germany and the pedestrian shopping district between our hotel and the Kölner Philharmonie is bustling with shoppers. Signs in most of the shop windows shout, "ALLES REDUZIERT!" (Everything reduced!). Even the trendy store, at home known as "Forever 21," is reduced to being called "Forever 18".
A lineup at the ticket window for a chance to buy one of about 100 tickets that went on sale the day of each of the LA Phil's two concerts at the Kölner Philharmonie. Percussionist Perry Dreiman spoke to two fans who waited for hours, but were able to get tickets to see the first concert.
My wife and I ate a late lunch with friend and fellow percussionist, Ted Atkatz, and then took a stroll to the hall to pick up a snare drum for a hotel room practice session. At the concert hall we met two women who will not be doing any shopping this afternoon. Frau Spenka of Cologne and violin student, Miranda Zirnbauer of Essen were in line for last minute tickets to tonight's concert. These 100 tickets are set aside to be distributed to only the most determined of concertgoers -- that is, those who line up hours before the 6:00pm ticket office opening. These two women, armed with folding stool and warm coats, are first and second in line and they will wait for over 3 hours in the icy cold and damp. I marvel at their dedication and fortitude and will enjoy tonight's performance all the more knowing that in the audience I will have two new friendly faces to search out and play to.