Plan A had been to travel from Cambridge to Krakow by train, mainly as an early experiment in thinking about touring orchestras' carbon footprints. It would have taken me some 12 hours longer than the players to get here, but it seemed worth trying. Plan B, however, rapidly took over following two invitations to Helsinki. So Thursday evening was spent at Finlandia Hall hearing Olli Mustonen direct a recent work by Rautavaara, Prokoviev's 6th Symphony, and play and direct Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 24. Mustonen is a very individual artist, crystal clear in the Mozart, and well able to draw out the dark moments of the Prokoviev (supposedly a celebration of the end of the War); he also has a steak dish named after him at the restaurant we went to following the concert. The Britten Sinfonia blog has always had a culinary streak running through it, so I'll give more details when I get back to England.
Then early on Friday morning to Fazer Artist Management for a traditional Finnish pre-Christmas glogg party (basically a mulled-wine with vodka).
Failing hopelessy on the emissions front, it then took three flights to get to Gdansk to catch the midnight sleeper train to Krakow. Richard Causton (whose new work we are premiering in our Britten Sinfonia at Lunch concert tomorrow at noon at the Filharmonic Hall) has arrived, and the players are due in later. In a new collaboration with the Academy of Music here, there will be an open rehearsal this evening, and Ricahrd will run a composers' workshop on Monday morning.
Our UK audiences can hear the concert in Birmingham on Monday, Cambridge on Tuesday, at the Wigmore Hall in London on Wednesday, and in Norwich on Thursday.