03 Dec 2018
In our 2018 European Tour, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will perform 12 concerts in seven countries in some of the most magnificent halls in the world. Emma Dunch, CEO, is on the road with the orchestra and writes to us from our third stop, Munich.
Following a brilliant concert the night before at the Wiener Konzerthaus, we awoke in Vienna to gently falling snow—just enough to be pretty, but not enough to freeze us all. It was picture perfect outside as we walked to the local commuter railway station and then onto the regional train to Munich, Germany. Sydney Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, David Robertson’s colleague, Eric Latzky, a former New York Philharmonic executive stopped by and joined us for part of the 2018 European Tour. He observed with astonishment that he had “never, ever seen a symphony orchestra take public transport in my entire career!” and exclaimed in his American drawl that “you Australians really ARE different!”. “No worries!” we replied with a laugh. “It’s not that hard, mate!”
Munich is a wonderful city and home to some of our favourite artistic collaborators, including German superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and Australian-born conductor Simone Young. We caught up with them both for our concert, which featured the tour debut of Beethoven’s Symphony No.7. We were a bit taken aback when the applause took a little while to get underway but learnt afterwards from Simone that in Munich, there’s an audience tradition that you should never be the first person to clap in case the conductor is not ready to break the musical mood. It was quite disconcerting, but the applause grew quickly once the first person broke the silence (And, as CEO, I mentally resolved to take on the important duty of “first clapper” for the rest of the tour!). Anne-Sophie joined us backstage and was very complimentary, confirming that it had been a very warm ovation from Munich’s normally reserved music audiences.
In Munich, we also received our first review, a very positive response from our first concert in Linz, Austria:
“The Sydney Symphony’s European tour started brilliantly in Linz, with absolute unity between Renaud Capuçon and the orchestra under David Robertson for Berg’s Violin Concerto. After the interval, both the interpretation and the performance of the orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 was captivating and proved that Europe is not the only place with an excellent orchestral tradition. This was a completely convincing, rousing music concert in the Brucknerhaus.”
Pictured: Gasteig, Munich © Andrea Huber