#MnOrchTour: More Entries Coming…And Coming Home

So. The performances are over; the trunks are packed. Many musicians are on their way back across the Atlantic as I type. I haven’t had time to get final drafts about Ainola or Amsterdam or Copenhagen done yet (although rest assured: they are coming, and you are going to love the stories). So to compensate, I thought I’d shoot a video here in Denmark with some tour tidbits and thank-yous to everyone who contributed to this fabulous experience. I also transcribed a few paragraphs from it below in case you don’t have time to watch.

More coming! I’m in Iceland and off the grid for two days (some Minnesota Orchestra musicians will be, too), but I will be sure to share pictures of the scenery on Instagram.

Some housekeeping items…

  • Lots of photos of the trip are online at my Instagram account!
  • You can listen to the Minnesota Orchestra’s Concertgebouw concert here, at least for now. A huge shout-out to Minnesota Public Radio for making it available. But as great as the recording is, I can assure you the performance was even more savagely glorious in-person, and I can’t wait to tell you about it.
  • The Minnesota Orchestra’s website is publishing its own tour coverage, too, including entries from musicians! Check it out!

Hey guys, it’s Emily from Song of the Lark here, from Copenhagen, day ten of the Minnesota Orchestra’s tour to Europe 2016. I am in a hotel in Copenhagen – on the outskirts of Copenhagen. The musicians are probably packing up on the floors below me. If not, maybe they’re already gone; I don’t even know; I haven’t connected with any of them today. Well technically I did connect with some of them today, but it was in the very early morning hours of today, because there was a little bit of a gathering that went on in the hotel bar and lobby area last night that involved Tim Zavadil and some pizzas.

But I wanted to connect with you, because you guys are amazing, and I feel like you have supported this orchestra in such a tremendous, overwhelming way, that you deserve to know every little detail of what’s going on here. And I’m trying my best to get those to you from my perspective, but it turns out that I can’t write everything that I want to as quickly as I’d like to. So I’m going to be writing every spare minute that I have, but there are probably going to end up being some entries coming in very early September…

I keep saying this over and over: I’ve never been prouder to be an American, and to be a Minnesotan, than I have been this past week, and seeing what the orchestra is able to do at the highest level in the greatest concert halls in the world. It feels so special that that’s where I’m from, and that’s the community that we’re from.

There are, I think, a lot of things going on in the world right now, especially in American politics, especially with the American presidential campaign… And there have been things that have been said and ideas that have been advanced, that feel in ways fundamentally offensive to the idea of what I believe it means to be an American. There have been so many times when I’ve almost wanted to hide the fact that I’m American, or put a caveat on it, that I don’t subscribe to those kinds of ideas that you’re hearing coming out of America right now.

But after this tour, it just has really invigorated my love of country, my love of community, my love of place.

There have been a lot of things I’ve taken away from this tour. Like, I love Amsterdam. That’s been one of the things I’ve taken away. And I’m really proud to have Scandinavian blood in my veins. That’s another thing I’ve taken away.

But the big overarching theme that I’ve come away with from this tour is that we are all so much more powerful when we act together than when we try acting alone. That sounds cliched, but maybe it sounds cliched because it’s so damn true. You saw that again and again during the course of this tour. Backstage people helping the onstage people. The gorgeousness of the ensemble playing, because everyone was listening so intensely to each other in new ways that they had to figure out on the go because they’re new concert halls, new places, everyone’s exhausted; they’re working together. And there’s never this sense with Osmo like he’s a superstar conductor who is coming straight from God. There’s always this feeling of collaboration with him and excitement. And same with Pekka, our violin soloist. Such tremendous Midwestern – maybe Scandinavian – an ethos there about collaboration and working together, and coming out of everything everything with a result that’s so much huger and bigger and better than what any one of us could have done on our own. And that includes the coverage of this tour, too, that you guys helped me be able to do it, and do stuff in such a huge way that I would not have been able to do on my own.

So all of these threads of being connected, and respecting each other, and working together in a productive way, and leaving ego at the door. Those are all huge, huge things that really struck me in this tour.

And of course gratitude for what we have in Minnesota. Being able to see other great cities of the world and then come back home and know that Minneapolis-St. Paul is mine, and yours, and we’re so tremendously lucky. And you are going to be so excited to see their season start up in September, as I will be. So let’s all plan on buying a ton of tickets this season…donating whatever we can, any spare cash we have, throw it their way; they’re doing such wonderful things. And let’s keep showing the world that a great symphony orchestra is kind of our thing.

Know that the Minnesota Orchestra knocked it out of the ballpark this trip, and you should be incredibly proud of them, and know they are incredibly proud of you.


View from our hotel on the outskirts of Copenhagen, with the sea in the distance



Filed under Minnesota Orchestra

4 responses to “#MnOrchTour: More Entries Coming…And Coming Home

  1. Nancy Murphy

    Thanks, Emily. Loved the video.

  2. jdav0743

    Very nice Emily. As usual, very nice. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Pekka speaking English to the Concertgebouw audience, articulate and authoritative, yet familiar as he is on stage here, Just like a relative of a Finnish Minnesotan up north.

  3. hmunro

    I usually stop giving a crap about how I look at Day 3, too. :) Thank you for making this video, Emily. It was wonderful to hear about your experience and impressions first-hand. I’m prouder than ever to help support the Minnesota Orchestra. Thank you for representing our state and country so beautifully — and welcome home!

  4. Bravo, Emily! You have also learned well the writer’s dilemma: to live and experience or to write. It’s impossible to do both at the same time, believe me, I know this from years of writing. It takes time to find the balance. Each writer needs to do that herself. You’ll find yours, too, and how to write faster, better, more efficiently, and succinctly. Bravo, Emily!

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