I remember when I first heard that the MCO would be appearing in New York City. It was in February of 2006 and the orchestra was performing its series in Torino. After the last concert many of us went to a restaurant near the hall. I stepped outside at some point, and with the Olympics a distant murmur the violinist Michel said off hand, "You know, the orchestra will be going to New York next year. No, wait. In 2007. Maybe you'll come along? Maybe you'll be a member then?" Well, I am not a member of the orchestra, but I did get to come along. And it was wonderful.
Actually, I got to come home. I moved to New York in 1997, went to university, studied, and stayed awhile after. I'm rarely in the city anymore and it was very special to see my two worlds meet. Uptown, Downtown, Crosstown; I think between all of us we walked most of Manhattan - at least south of 96th St - and some of Brooklyn too.
Carnegie is in Midtown. We were very fortunate to not only perform there, but rehearse there too. The concert was on a warm, muggy evening. I thought the orchestra played exceptionally well - warm, polished, and refined, and I hope we can collaborate again with Pierre-Laurent Aimard. This was the final concert in a series of performances with him, starting in the summer. From the first rehearsal in Lucerne to the final notes in New York, he was always generous and engaged, and the trust he placed in the orchestra was very rewarding. After the concert there was a small reception down the street from the hall. The cello group played a tango and members of the orchestra met friends old and new.
I'm sure at some point the MCO will return to the United States. To New York, and beyond. Whether or not I'll be along is impossible to say. But I'll always be grateful for this concert. And for the two years I've been here. The MCO came into my life at a time when I was tired of playing and close to quitting and being here has saved me.