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In the beginning of April I returned to Mikkeli for a string orchestra concert with St Michel Strings, and this time my soloist was my friend Ivan Stolbov, the principal clarinetist of the Mariinsky Theatre. He played the clarinet concerto of Johann Stamitz (one of the earliest written for the instrument!) and a little jewel of the clarinet repertoire, the romantic Canzona by the Russian composer Sergey Taneyev.

The big piece of the concert was Tchaikovsky's famous Serenade in C Major for string orchestra. Despite being such a popular piece I had not conducted it during my four years in Mikkeli, because I had in my mind a plan, or maybe a dream, to stage a ballet with Serenade/Apollo double bill. Mikkeli used to have a successful ballet festival, so I was sure there would be audience for that kind of a thing. Unfortunately this plan never came to fruition during my music directorship.

Our concert was webcast live, and there is still an archival recording at www.e-concerthouse.com. Enjoy!