Sunday, March 30, 2003

A movable, musical feast

Taking 105 Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra musicians, with assorted instruments and props, on tour is no piece of cake

By Janelle Gelfand
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The nation's fifth-oldest orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, embarks today on its first tour with music director Paavo Jarvi to five U.S. cities, through Saturday. First stop is New York, where both the CSO and the Cincinnati Pops, under maestro Erich Kunzel, will play Carnegie Hall.

Moving a symphony orchestra is not easy. As soon as the musicians finished their concert Saturday night at Music Hall, CSO truck driver Tony Totten and his crew were scheduled to load the 53-foot, air-ride, climate-controlled trailer with percussion equipment, large musical instruments, sound gear and wardrobe trunks, and hit the road.

Destination: Greenvale (Long Island), N.Y., (681 miles) by 3 p.m. today - in time for the first concert there at 7 p.m.

Going on the tour:

4 conductors: Jarvi (music director), Kunzel (Pops conductor), John Morris Russell and Sarah Ioannides (associate/assistant conductors)

7 guest artists: Vadim Repin (violinist), 4 Flying Karamazov Brothers, Betsy Wolfe (soprano) and Steven Morgan (tenor)

105 musicians, including subs and extras and 2 harpists (Jody Guinn and Elizabeth Hainen) and 2 pianists (Michael Chertock and Julie Spangler)

1 saxophonist (James Bunte)

25 musicians who will hand-carry their instruments (read: "Don't touch my Stradivarius.")

9 staff, including Steven Monder, CSO president

3 stage crew (technical, lighting and sound)

Flying Karamazov Brothers
70 trunks containing instruments, wardrobe, sound gear, props. (Flying Karamazov Brothers prop list for the Pops' show at Carnegie Hall: bowling pins, pingpong balls, Corona cigars and one euphonium)

1,849: Miles to be racked up by Totten Express Inc.

Planes, buses and one charter flight: How the musicians will get there

Party when it's over: University of Cincinnati Alumni of Washington will host a reception after the Kennedy Center concert.

About the concert halls

Tilles Center for the Performing Arts - 2,242 seats. For 22 years has presented 70 events each season; home of the Long Island Philharmonic. CSO concert presented by Tilles Center

Carnegie Hall - 2,804 seats in Isaac Stern Auditorium. Opened in 1891. (How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice . . . or go to 57th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan). Presented by Carnegie Hall

Boston's Symphony Hall - 2,625 seats. Home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Seiji Ozawa, music director; James Levine, designated music director) and the Boston Pops (Keith Lockhart, conductor). Opened in 1900. Presented with the FleetBoston Celebrity Series

Mechanics Hall - 1,648 seats. Opened in 1857. Hailed for superb acoustics; has a historic 1864 Hook organ. Home of the oldest music festival in the nation, Worcester Music Festival, 1859. Presented by Music Worcester Inc.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - 2,442 seats. Opened in 1971. Located on the banks of the Potomac River near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Called the nation's "living memorial" to Kennedy. Cost in 1971: $70 million. Presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society

Tour itinerary

Today - Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, Long Island University - C.W. Post Campus, Greenvale, N.Y.

Monday - Carnegie Hall, New York

Tuesday - Carnegie Hall, New York (Pops)

Wednesday - Symphony Hall, Boston

Thursday - Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Mass.

Friday - Day off

Saturday - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington


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