Thursday, 21 August 2014

Tour of India - Part Three

The third installment of our India tour blog by orchestra manager, Annabel:

Greetings from Hyderabad, as the musicians are beginning their fifth concert.  The last few days have passed in a blur of early flights, car journeys, soundchecks and performances.  From Coimbatore we travelled to Chennai where our cellist, Eilidh Martin, has previously lived.  While there she helped establish the Sunshine Orchestra for underprivileged children, based at the KMMC Conservatory.  Although our schedule sadly didn’t allow us to visit the children, we were delighted that a number of them were able to attend our concert – and Eilidh had a chance to check that they are all still practising!  It was lovely to meet the children after the concert, and the evening ended with everyone in good spirits – so much so that, in a moment of carelessness in converting currencies, a bottle of wine with a price containing rather too many 0’s was purchased by the ensemble.  You live and learn….



From Chennai we moved to Mumbai where we gained our first experience of monsoon weather, with rain on both arrival and departure and much higher humidity.  Our concert here, at the National Centre for Performing Arts, was a notable highlight of the trip so far – the Mumbai audience were exceptionally welcoming and we were received very enthusiastically.


National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai
Another early start meant we were somewhat bleary-eyed when setting off for our flight to Hyderabad.  This didn’t last for long though as the realisation that a suitcase had been missed when loading our luggage at the hotel wakened me up somewhat.  A few phonecalls, a tense wait, and a slight dash through security and I made it onto the plane with the elusive suitcase, just.

At the start of the tour Ayaan Ali Khan told me that all of the cities we would be visiting have a distinctly different character.  On arriving in Hyderabad from Mumbai this was certainly true – it felt almost like an entirely different country! The rain and humidity have been exchanged for dry sunshine, and vibrant flowers line the roads.  Roads are less cluttered, and houses come in a multitude of colours.  So far, Hyderabad takes the place of my favourite city – although this may of course all change when we reach Bangalore, our sixth and final city, tomorrow.

Annabel
Orchestra Manager


For full details of Britten Sinfonia's tour to India click here

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