Having joined the Minnesota Orchestra just two seasons ago, major international touring is a new thing to me. Last season's historic trip to Cuba was an unforgettable experience, but a tour of four different countries is very different.
It has been an opportunity to get just a small taste of several unfamiliar cultures. Without exception, the people in each city have been welcoming. In almost every restaurant or bar where we've sat down, there have been locals wanting to know who we are and what brought us to their city. Outside of Usher Hall in Edinburgh, one orchestra member spoke with a Scottish couple that was actually following the orchestra from city to city on our tour.
It has also been an opportunity to see more of what makes our orchestra the great institution that it is. We have a staff who have a handle on every possible detail of what is a very complex venture; we have a crew, sometimes working on little to no sleep that has each hall perfectly prepared for us in each city when we arrive; and we have a phenomenal group of musicians who ably adapt to new hall after new hall, putting our best foot forward each concert with barely any rehearsal.
Tonight we will perform at Tivoli Hall in Copenhagen after which I will be glad to return to a familiar city and a familiar bed. I will return home however, prouder of the group that we are and eagerly anticipating what the future holds for this great orchestra.
Violist Gareth Zehngut joined the Minnesota Orchestra in summer 2014, coming from the San Diego Symphony. While in San Diego he also performed frequently with the California Chamber Orchestra, serving as principal viola, and with Orchestra Nova. Read his full biography here.