This assignment has been a blast if also a tricky one. I've been shadowing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the past two weeks like some sort of classical music Deadhead.
I've been traveling separately (all via train within Europe -- from Salzburg, Austria, to Lucerne, Switzerland, to Luxembourg to Paris to Dresden, Germany, and finally to Vienna) and in all but one case staying in different hotels.
But the CSO also has been very cooperative in giving me access to the 10 concerts and four rehearsals as well as other opportunities to speak with and to see music director Riccardo Muti and the musicians and stagehands and others in action.
The maestro has joked with me from the rehearsal stage and sat for an extended interview, and he and the musicians have been really open in sharing with me what the experience of touring Europe as the CSO is like. Turns out it's exhausting and invigorating and inspiring.
Something that's worked in my favor is the seven-hour time difference between here (Vienna) and Chicago, so I could cover a nighttime concert and write about it and still get the story in before deadline.
That's certainly my plan with Tuesday night's concert, the final one of the tour, and then my string of funky datelines (Luxembourg--yes!), alas, will end.
-- Mark Caro
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