No better way to start off the month of March than with a concert in Valladolid! We originally had the concert planned for the 15th of February but due to an issue at the venue we had to reschedule. In the end I am glad we had the opportunity to play here because this was one of the nicest auditoriums we have played at. The chairs were filled with classical music lovers waiting for a great show and that is what happened! This was the second concert in a row where at the end of the concert the crowd was on their feet for a standing ovation! Ashot and the Orchestra all had smiles on their faces when leaving and you could tell that they all wanted to play more. Here are some pictures from that night:
Touchdown in the exciting and beautiful city of Zaragoza! This city seemed to be a favorite among the Orchestra members and was personally one of my favorites too because it felt extremely welcoming and open. The Orchestra had the day off on the 26th so many of them took off into the streets to see what Zaragoza had to offer. Some checked out the various shops in the center of town and some went to the outskirts to try and find some peace and quiet for a relaxing day off.
On the day of the concert everyone seemed well rested and ready to play a successful concert that night; and thats exactly what they did! At the end of the tour the entire audience was on their feet for a standing ovation which was a really great thing to see and made everyone feel accomplished.
Back to the city of Bilbao where we had our radio interview a few days ago. This auditorium was one of the largest ones that we played at along the tour, just the backstage alone looked like it could house a spaceship!
Luckily Ashot and the Orchestra members who were feeling under the weather at the last concert were almost at 100% again by the time of the concert. The concert went smoothly without a hitch and the audience left that night with that great feeling that only classical music can give you. Here are some pictures of rehearsals and of the concert:
It was a rainy day in Pamplona but a little bit of rain is not going to stop us from putting on the best concert that we can! This theater was a bit smaller than the previous ones that we played at but the amount of detail and the architecture was absolutely stunning. Everything in the theater down to the arm rests in the chairs was so meticulously crafted. The crowd showed so much appreciation for the way Ashot and the Orchestra played that I didnt think the audience was ever going to leave the theater. We also sold a few DVD’s to a few happy audience members too! Check out some of the photos taken during the rehearsals and the concert:
Today we visited “Tele7 Radio7″ in Bilbao and Ashot had a live television interview about the Spain tour! The interview went very well and the host had many great things to say about Ashot and his Orchestra. Here are some pictures of and a recording of the interview in case you didnt see it live!
Back to Spain we go! This time we stopped in the town of San Sebastian which is located right on the beach. The auditorium itself was right along the beach which was definitely a treat for most members of the Orchestra as many of them have not been to the beach many times before. Even though it was a bit rainy and cold we still all managed to check out the beach and relax before our concert. Here are some pictures of the auditorium and beautifully architectured building that was along the canal:
The concert was fantastic! Even though Ashot and a few of the Orchestra were a bit under the weather but that didn’t stop them from playing their hearts out and putting on a memorable show for the people of San Sebastian. Here are a few pictures from the rehearsal and of the concert:
Viva La France!
Even though this is our Spain tour, we decided to make one stop in the great city of Montpellier in France! It was definitely a change of scenery (and language) for everyone but it proved to be a great stop in our tour. This stop proved that wherever you go in the world there will always be a desire to hear great classical music as the auditorium was filled with applause after each song. This was just a little taste of what is to come for France as our main France tour is beginning in April of this year!
February 17th & 18th
Day 17 & 18
Our next concert stop was in the great city of Barcelona where we had back to back concerts at the beautiful Palau de la Musica Auditorium. Both of these days the auditorium was packed with classical music lovers. As I was taking pictures of the Orchestra performing I would casually look at the audience to see the reactions and all I saw were smiles from ear to ear. Its really a fantastic thing to see someone who is so passionate about something enjoying it so much.
On the 18th we had a special guest for the attendees; the great Soprano, María José Montiel, guest starred at the concert! Her powerful voice combined with the stunning sounds of Ashot’s violin and the Orchestra’s performance really made for a special night.
All in all the concerts in Barcelona were very memorable for everyone involved and it is definitely something that will be looked back on and talked about for many years to come.
Here are some pictures overlooking Barcelona, of the auditorium, the rehearsals and of the concerts in Barcelona:
We started our tour off in A Coruña and it was definitely a great way to start the tour! Ashot and the Orchestra performed great, the crowd was applauding nonstop after each song and after the concert Ashot signed an autograph and shared his love of classical music with a young fan. Here are some pictures of the rehearsal and after the concert:
The last few days has been a very exciting time for the Orchestra as we are getting closer to our first performance in A Coruña! From February 6th to the 9th the Orchestra had the pleasure of practicing at the El Prado School of Madrid. During the practice it was not uncommon to see the children peeking through the window to watch Ashot and the Orchestra practice. So with the permission from one of the teachers a few of the students came inside to experience first hand the Orchestra practicing. It was fantastic to see the youth take such a strong interest in Classical music.
On the 10th the Orchestra got some much needed rest on their day off. Many of the Orchestra members used this time to explore some of the great sights that Madrid has to offer. Many reported going to the Museo Nacional del Prado to see the works of Rembrandt, Rubin, Raphael, de Goya and many others. It was an early night for most as we had an early departure the next morning to A Coruña!
On the morning of the 11th the bus was loaded and we were on the road by 8:30am. Our first stop along the way to A Coruña was in Valladolid where Ashot had a radio interview with the Cadena SER station! Here are some photos from that interview:
The interview went very well and the radio station had some very nice things to say about Ashot and his Orchestra. After the interview we were back on the road for another seven hours with one stop midway through in Leon where we got some food and coffee, one of the waitresses even personalized Ashot’s coffee!
The scenery along the way was extraordinary, we saw snow capped mountains and lush fields coated with fresh blankets of snow. It even lightly snowed along the way which was a very special treat for most as we do not see much snow in California! Here are a few pictures taken from the tour bus:
We arrived in A Coruña just as the sun was setting and most everyone was exhausted from the long bus ride so it was an early night for most. Tomorrow is going to be the last rehearsal before the concert on Friday!
February 5, 2015
This was our last day of rehearsal at the school and it has been an extreme pleasure to play for these wonderful children. Ashot wasn’t here for the beginning of rehearsal but appeared on stage, violin in hand, during the middle of a piece by Vivaldi giving the orchestra and children a real surprise. For the remainder of the children’s visit Ashot had the orchestra played Vivaldi’s, “Four Seasons-Winter” and us usual the children were entranced. Everyday the children have been sending us hand drawn thank you cards. They’re so charming. Pictures of Ashot and the orchestra playing on stage with sweet thank you notes. They’re particularly found of the double bass as it was featured in many of the drawings.
Today we had a TV crew come film our rehearsal for Spanish television. They filmed Ashot and the orchestra rehearsing pieces from the tour program.
Ashot walked up for his interview holding his violin, “I live eat, drink and sleep with this. It’s been part of my life since I was three years old.” They conducted a great interview with Ashot and a few members of the orchestra. We can’t wait for the people of Spain to see it!
February 4, 2015
We got a real treat in Madrid today: snow! Our tour poster also went up on the bus so now our chariot is looking very official.
Ashot led the orchestra in an array of beautiful pieces in rehearsal today, selections from the Armenian composer Komitas and “Seven Spanish Songs” by Manuel deFalla. He also chose to rehearse Vivaldi’s, “Violin Concerto in G Minor” and Mozart’s, “Violin Concerto No.4.” It’s been confirmed that the famous soprano, Ana Maria Sanchez, will join Ashot and the Orchestra for the concert in Madrid! The children came in today as they practiced Schubert’s “Ave Maria” which Ana Maria will be singing in the program.
For the remainder of the children’s visit Ashot had the orchestra play Vivaldi’s, “Four Seasons-Summer” and Sarasate’s, “Carmen’s Fantays” which had the children snapping their fingers and dancing in their seats. Ashot took the time to talk to the children about the different instrumentation in the orchestra and to answer their questions. We have been so impressed by how well behaved and interested these children have been in Ashot and the Orchestra. It gives us hope in the next generation and the legacy of Classical music!
February 3, 2015
Well, the first day of rehearsal is out of the way so it’s smooth sailing from here!
We are back at the school and Ashot is now leading his orchestra. It is fascinating to watch him work. Before he starts conducting he inserts himself in the orchestra, sitting among the musicians and taking time to coach each one personally. Saying nothing he slowly guides them speaking a language they both know, the language of music.
The children start to come in while Ashot leads the orchestra in Vivaldi’s, ‘Four Seasons.’ There are even more children than yesterday, the house is to capacity! Ashot hasn’t even spoken yet and the children are captivated by the music. We’re giving these children a real behind the scenes look at Ashot’s rehearsal process, something not just anyone is privileged to witness. After some time Ashot starts answering some of the children’s questions which starts an onslaught of little eager hands reaching into the air.
When we left the school it was raining quite hard and now the clouds are parting just enough for us to see the sunset over this beautiful city. Soon we will go to the lobby of our hotel and meet Ashot where he is hosting a reception for the whole orchestra. With another productive day behind us we will cheers to new beginnings and a successful tour ahead of us!
February 2, 2015
Maestro Ashot Tigranyan arrives from France today! Everyone is so excited for him to arrive so they can begin rehearsing and learn from a living legend! It is amazing to hear over thirty musicians from all over the world come together, most of whom have never met, and play music like they have been doing it for years. Like Ashot always says, music is a universal language and nothing proves that more than watching this process. It is extremely moving and powerful. This afternoon Ashot will be landing in Madrid and coming straight to the school so he can meet the orchestra.
Over 100 children between the ages of six and eight came to rehearsal today. The orchestra played the Last Movement of Carmen and Mozart’s 4th Concerto. The children were absolutely enthralled! They were tapping their toes and waving their hands like conductors! During the performance Ashot arrived! He was gracious enough to come on stage and introduce himself to the children. He insisted that he wasn’t going to play but couldn’t resist an opportunity to play some Vivaldi for the children. They loved it! They were looking at him without even blinking. Ashot had wise words to share with the next generation, “Music education is very important. I started playing when I was three years old and now I am 60 years old. 57 years I have been playing this instrument!” For a parting goodbye he said, “I congratulate all of you and your passion in music. Incredible. Bravo.” Today was a great day and we are so happy that Ashot has arrived!
After rehearsal Maestro was invited by Roman, the owner of Pacerom de Alaska, to have dinner at his fabulous restaurant. After Roman asked him if he would take a picture with him for his celebrity wall and sign his book of distinguished guests.
February 1, 2015
Today thirty-five musicians from around the world got on trains, planes and automobiles on their way to Madrid where they will finally meet Maestro Ashot Tigranyan, for a one-month, nine-city tour of Spain, which will take them to some of the countries most prestigious venues for classical music. Ashot arrived to Europe early to start his preparations for the tour. He has been working in France nonstop in anticipation for the arrival of the orchestra.
Tomorrow rehearsal will begin at Colegio Retamar, a prestigious school with a heavy focus on the performing arts. It was Ashot’s idea to share our music and unique Russian style with the children. Everyday while we rehearse they will come and Ashot will talk to them about his Baroque style of music and teach them about a different time in order to educate the new generation!