Our new Principal Clarinet, Gabriel Campos Zamora, returned from his first Minnesota Orchestra tour with a unique story to tell.
We arrived at the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam and were told right away that this was the very hotel where John Lennon and Yoko Ono had stayed–I'll come back to that in just a second. After having a meal at a great Indonesian restaurant near Amsterdam's Central Station on our last day in the Netherlands, I decided it was time to head back to the hotel, have a nightcap with Joseph Peters (our new principal oboe) and call it a night.
I wanted to get a good night’s sleep before an early morning flight to Copenhagen, but I just couldn’t because of a party in the next room over. I called the front desk to see if they might talk to them but their efforts lead nowhere. We finally realized that the only way to fix the situation was to move to a different room so, at two in the morning, I packed my suitcase.
When someone from the hotel arrived with new keys, I was informed that every room in the hotel was occupied but that I could stay in the legendary John and Yoko honeymoon suite! There were numerous photos of the ex-Beatle with Yoko lounging in the same bed where I'd sleep that night! Unfortunately, I had only a couple of hours before I had to get up, get ready and head to the airport. But first, I jumped in the luxurious bathtub and laughed about the irony of the situation.
Gabriel Campos Zamora, a native of San José, Costa Rica is the newly appointed principal clarinet of the Minnesota Orchestra. Campos was most recently the associate principal clarinet of the Kansas City Symphony and has appeared as guest principal clarinet with the Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle and Houston Symphonies in addition to serving as the Virginia Symphony's principal clarinet. More: minnesotaorchestra.org.