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With composer John Adams in Chicago

After I had officially finished my spring season it was a time to relax and do some traveling, to reconnect with people and make new contacts. I managed to see one of my former teachers, David Zinman conducting the Finnish RSO in Helsinki - despite his age, David still manages a very busy schedule as a conductor! After meeting him I was off to Paris to meet my dear friend and colleague Marlon Chen for one last time before he moves to Leipzig. We went to see the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France with Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducting Sibelius 4, and I also could catch up with the Bulgarian-born concertmaster of the orchestra, Svetlin Roussev, who is busy trying to develop the orchestra life in his original home country. Then we went to a beautiful performance of Tristan with the Orchestre National de France and Daniele Gatti, and next day could listen to some Bruckner with him as well. Back in Finland I enjoyed some sports (including watching some games of Finnish baseball - check it out!), and then continued my sports holiday in Chicago taking part in an aikido seminar at Chicago Aikikai. In Chicago I also ran into composer John Adams in a concert of contemporary music! I also was planning to observe some rehearsals of Chicago Symphony by Christoph von Dohnanyi, but amid some health concerns I was not allowed in. Too bad, but Christoph being already 87 I understand. This little round trip really charged me for the beginning festival season. I can't recommend enough to my musician colleagues to use their every chance to travel to interesting cities with rich cultural life - it is totally worth the money and effort.