Helpful ReplyHot!January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour

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lleechef
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 20:38:51 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby leethebard 2017/02/10 04:47:26
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lleechef
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 21:13:36 (permalink)
Mr. Sanders,
You really need to venture beyond steak frites and onion soup!
 
The Shoah Memorial is indeed disturbing.  Even more disturbing was the only concentration camp in France, Natzweiler-Struthof, in France called Schirmeck in the Vosges mountains.  Such a beautiful surrounding.........and then you see what happened in the camp.  Enough said.   
 
What did your Symphony play at the Philharmonie de Paris?
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 21:58:25 (permalink)
lleechef
Mr. Sanders,
You really need to venture beyond steak frites and onion soup!
 
The Shoah Memorial is indeed disturbing.  Even more disturbing was the only concentration camp in France, Natzweiler-Struthof, in France called Schirmeck in the Vosges mountains.  Such a beautiful surrounding.........and then you see what happened in the camp.  Enough said.   
 
What did your Symphony play at the Philharmonie de Paris?

I know, I know! As I said, my food choices in Paris needed work.

Our program was:
HINDEMITH: Concert Music for String Orchestra and Brass
ELGAR: In the South (Alassio)
MUSSORGSKY: A Night on Bald Mountain
MUSSORGSKY (orch. Ravel): Pictures from an Exhibition
#33
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 22:31:39 (permalink)
Oh my.  What a beautiful program.  I would give anything to hear the Chicago Symphony play that in Paris.  Heaven on earth.  So eat steak frites.  You can be part of a symphony that creates such musical beauty for so many people!  Such a talent.  You are really blessed.
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 22:36:32 (permalink)
Saturday, January 14th
 
 
 
We flew from Paris this morning by charter and went to our second stop, Hamburg, where we were playing two concerts. (We played two concerts at every venue, except Paris.) Probably the best hotel of the trip, the Park Hyatt Hamburg. Interesting decoration for the entrance.

 
The hotel is on a shopping street, and part of a mall, which had this little stand outside one of the mall shops.

 
Excellent waffle.

 
We were playing at the Elbphilharmonie, the new concert hall which had just opened on Wednesday, and were the hall’s first visiting orchestra. We didn’t have a rehearsal, so most of us were quite interested in what we would find. The story was that the construction was delayed by about 7 years, and the cost overrun was something like $600 million. It’s a fascinating hall, with seats all around the stage. I liked the sound more than I did the new hall in Paris. It had more of an immediate presence to the sound, although I heard and read that the brass was very overpowering. Seats directly behind the stage. 

 
Seats behind the cellos and basses.

 
Looking out from the front of the stage.

 
 
One note. For some reason, when they designed this hall and spent almost 800 million Euros, they neglected to think about where a visiting orchestra might put its wardrobe trunks. Ours were back at the hotel. Now it’s possible they’ll find a place in the future, but it was kind of odd. Plus, every room was locked and needed a keycard to enter, so we were all given cards. And in addition, they didn’t think about the fact that when most people take their instruments out of their cases, they don’t really want to put the case on the floor and bend over to get out the instrument. There wasn’t one table for instruments in the entire giant backstage area. I’m sure these are things that will be addressed in the future.
 
 
From the front of the stage shortly before the concert. 

 
After the concert it was back to the hotel dining room for dinner, which was being kept open later for Orchestra members. I enjoyed this dinner very much.
My first Wienerschnitzel of the tour.

 
Served with wonderful, buttery fried potatoes.

 
And a very good cucumber salad.

 
With excellent German beer.

 
 
Much, much more to come.....
 
 
#35
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 22:39:00 (permalink)
lleechef
Oh my.  What a beautiful program.  I would give anything to hear the Chicago Symphony play that in Paris.  Heaven on earth.  So eat steak frites.  You can be part of a symphony that creates such musical beauty for so many people!  Such a talent.  You are really blessed.


Thank you so much for your kind words. I still would be curious about what I should possibly order the next time (if there is a next time) I am in Paris.
 
David
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 22:49:10 (permalink)
Sunday, January 15th
 
 
 
Today we had the day free until the concert in the evening. Most everything was closed for Sunday, but I took advantage of the time to walk to St. Michael’s Church, the most famous church in the city.

 

 
I took the elevator up to the top to see the view of the city.

 

 
The Elbe River Harbour.

 
In the distance to the left you can see the Elbphilharmonie, the massive structure on the water.

 
The Elbphilharmonie, on the right.

 
I decided against this place, but it certainly looked intriguing.

 
My dinner after the concert was back in the hotel bar. Nothing special, and not nearly as good as the Wienerschnitzel last night.

 
 
 
Much, much more to come.....
 
 
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 22:56:15 (permalink)
Monday, January 16th
 
 
 
Today was our charter flight to Aalborg, Denmark, the first visit by the CSO. We had been to Copenhagen in 1989, so this was our second visit to Denmark. Aalborg is a much smaller city than we are used to visiting, but it was very interesting. The hotel rooms were much more sparse than normal, with no mini-bars, but they were certainly comfortable. The concert hall Musikkens Hus opened in 2014. The hall is relatively small, holding just under 1300 people. A view from my room.

 
I had a late lunch in the hotel bar, which was a bit strange. I ordered chicken soup, which seemingly was made with beef broth, had a lot of almost raw vegetables cut into it, and about four clumps of pulled chicken. Not great.

 
The Caesar salad was pretty good.

 
Here are some pictures of the concert hall, before the audience arrived.

 

 
Seating behind the stage, in front of the organ.

 
 
Much, much more to come.....
 
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 23:03:17 (permalink)
Tuesday, January 17th
 
 
 
We had the day free until the concert, so I spent a bit of time walking around this charming small town.

 

 
An Irish Pub.
 
 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
We stopped at a little coffee shop for a treat. I had this mini-Berliner donut. Really good.

 
I ordered hot chocolate, and it came in two cup sizes, but three chocolate stick sizes. The small came with one chocolate stick, and the large came with either two or three sticks. They had dark, milk and white chocolate. I went with a large with two milk chocolate sticks. They presented me the cup of hot milk and the two chocolate sticks and said to make sure and stir them very well. It was wonderful. With a little glass of whipped cream on the side.

 
Heavenly.

 
 
This was the view at night after the concert from the hotel.

 
 
Much, much more to come.....
 
 
 
 
post edited by Davidsanders - 2017/02/09 23:49:01
#39
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/09 23:47:13 (permalink)
Wednesday, January 18th
 
 
 
Another charter, and we arrive in Milan. We had last been here in 1981, during my second European tour, and third international tour (Japan in 1977). The Orchestra had played here during their first European tour, in 1971, before I joined. After checking into the hotel, I went out for a walk. This was pretty much across the street.

 

 
I walked back past the hotel to the Duomo. The fifth largest Christian church in the world, construction began in 1386 and took 600 years to complete!

 

 

 

 
Lots of pigeons in the piazza.

 
Trained to take food from your hands.

 
 
The Galeria Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade, a high end shopping district.

 
 
A couple of great signs.

 

 
Dinner was at, would you believe it, an Italian restaurant!

 
I ordered a large beer, but it was MUCH larger than I thought it would be.

 
For perspective! I only was able to finish about a third of it.

 
I ordered a Diavlo salami pizza.

 
Spaghetti with clams. The spaghetti was sensational.

 
Veal with risotto. All three dishes were fantastic.

 
The Duomo at night.

 
 
Much, much more to come.....
 
post edited by Davidsanders - 2017/02/10 00:13:59
#40
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 00:02:57 (permalink)
Thursday, January 19th
 
 
 
As a string player with a cello made in c. 1685 in Cremona, having a free day in Milan, about 60 kilometers away from the City of the Violin, was an incredible opportunity. In the 16th century, Cremona became renowned as a center of violin making, beginning with the Amati family, followed by Stradivari and Guarneri. The patrons traveling with the Orchestra had arranged for a tour of the violin museum in Cremona, and quite a number of us signed up to go.The Museum of the Violin opened in Cremona in 2013, and consolidated the various violin collections of Cremona into one unified collection.

 
The Museum of the Violin.

 
The museum has a shop where demonstrations of violinmaking are given on the weekends. These are some of the tools used in the process. 

 

 
Some of the instruments in the museum. A Stradivari guitar from 1679.

 
The Stradivari “Hellier” violin of 1679.

 
Stradivari Last Will and Testament.

 

 
The Stradivari “Chigiano” cello from 1682.
 
 
 
Some of Stradivari’s original forms, drawings and notes.

 

 

 
 
Since the patrons tour of the Museum ended after lunch, I arranged for a private tour with 10 of my colleagues of the city of Cremona that went a bit more into detail and depth about the city and about violinmaking in the city. Here is the Duomo in the Cremona Piazza. Construction began on this cathedral in 1107, finished in 1160-1170.

 
The Torrazzo, the Bell Tower of Cremona, which has the largest astronomical clock in the world. It is the oldest brick structure taller than 100 meters that is still standing.

 
There’s a legend that the design of this church is where Stradivari got his inspiration for his f-holes, the holes in the top of stringed instruments.

 
Stradivari statue. There’s no real record of what he actually looked like, so there are many different images.

 

 

 

 
A competing maker.

 
Stradivari was buried in the Church of San Domenico, but when the church was torn down the tomb was saved and moved to the end of the property where the church had been. There’s no knowledge as to whether the body was saved.

 
 
Across the street from the former site of the Church of San Domenico, directly next door to each other, were the violin shops of Antonio Stradivari, Carlo Bergonzi, Joseph Guarneri del Gesú and Antonio and Hieronymus Amati. Across the street from the Brothers Amati shop was the shop of Francesco Ruggeri, the maker of my cello. It’s mind boggling to think that all of these eternally great makers lived and worked in such incredible proximity. This was a memorable visit.
 
 
The plaque commemorating the house of Stradivari that is still in existence. It is privately owned, but allows for visits. We were able to see it during our tour.

 
A statue of Stradivari, which suffers from being vandalized!

 
 
 
 
post edited by Davidsanders - 2017/02/10 00:12:03
#41
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 00:25:15 (permalink)
Friday, January 20th
 
 
 
Today was a rehearsal and concert at the Teatro alla Scala, or La Scala for short. Inaugurated in 1778, and regarded as one of the leading opera houses in the world, our music director Riccardo Muti was music director of La Scala from 1986-2005. Our performance there was a homecoming for him. Playing on the stage of an opera house, with an extension for the orchestra, is a completely different experience than playing in a concert hall designed for an orchestra. The stage of La Scala has absolutely no reverberation, and it was very disconcerting to hear this great orchestra play huge chords and have no feedback whatsoever. It’s a beautiful hall with six tiers of box seats.

 

 

 

 
 
After our rehearsal I went walking around and found one of the most highly rated pastry shops of Milan, Sant Ambroeus. An excellent apple tarte.

 

 
Two mini tartes, raspberry and pistachio. The pistachio was a pistachio cream, which I didn’t really care for. The raspberry was really good.

 
Their sachertorte. Very good.

 
My little corner of the counter.

 
 
 
Sant Ambroeus Pasticceria
Corso Giacomo Matteotti 7
https://www.santambroeusmilano.com
 
 
Before the concert I returned to Papa Francesco’s for an early dinner. I had thought about getting another pizza, but decided instead on a pasta dinner. A simple mixed salad.

 
Spaghetti with olive oil and little red peppers. Sensational. One of the best meals I had on the tour.

 
 
Much, much more to come.....
 
post edited by Davidsanders - 2017/02/10 22:31:30
#42
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 00:41:18 (permalink)
Saturday, January 21st
 
 
 
In solidarity with today’s Women’s March in Washington, D.C., there were marches all across the United States and Europe, including one in Milan, which a dozen or more CSO members participated in. A crowd of people congregated in the late morning in the Piazza alla Scala, across the street from La Scala, to show support for women across the world.

 
After the march I went to tour the Duomo. 

 

 

 

 
I then walked up the 166 steps to the top.

 

 

 
Under constant restoration.

 
Before the concert tonight, with my colleague Gary Stucka. 

 
 
Much, much more to come.....
#43
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 04:43:19 (permalink)
lleechef
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Oh Yes, that's them....haven't had one in many years...but they are fondly remembered. When I took students to France, these were always a taste treat!
 
Thanks so much,lleechef, for bringing back this memory!!
post edited by leethebard - 2017/02/10 04:49:13
#44
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 07:36:24 (permalink)
Curious about the seating capacity for the Philharmonie de Paris.  Do you know the number?
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 07:56:17 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner
Curious about the seating capacity for the Philharmonie de Paris.  Do you know the number?


I think it's about 2400.
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 08:31:53 (permalink)
Regarding the instruments on display in the violin museum....Shouldn't they been played on a regular basis or is that just an old wife's tale?
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 08:52:23 (permalink)
cavandre
Regarding the instruments on display in the violin museum....Shouldn't they been played on a regular basis or is that just an old wife's tale?


Actually, they are played on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, two of them were played at a concert as part of our tour of the Museum.
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 09:40:03 (permalink)
I am really enjoying your pictures and descriptions of your trip. The only thing that could make it better would be a soundtrack from one of your concerts while we enjoy the photos. Thank you for letting us follow you.
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lleechef
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 10:50:52 (permalink)
Just when I thought the best part of the tour was Paris........you went to Milan.  One of my favorite cities.  I have cousins there and went quite often when I lived in Europe.  Ah.....the Duomo, La Scala, all the good food......Milan is fantastic.
 
But I think the best part of this segment is the Violin Museum.  Such beautiful pictures of the Stradivari instruments, I got tears in my eyes.  When I read that your cello was c. 1685 I thought, "I must ask him to post a photo."  But then there it was, the last picture.
 
Magnifico!!!  Grazie!!!
 
 
#50
Michael Hoffman
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 13:52:01 (permalink)
I cannot tell you just how much I'm enjoying this.
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 14:53:54 (permalink)
You take Europe, Music, Art, Food and add David Sanders to it and you get an absolutely amazing trip report.  WOW and BRAVO!
 
I'm amazed at the plating of everything you've eaten!  Such gorgeous food!
 
I also loved seeing the name Finkelsztajn on the store because my last name was originally Sztajnberg.  Love the old spelling.
 
Thank you for letting us in to a little piece of your life.  Very interesting!
 
And again....    WOW!
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 15:03:31 (permalink)
lleechef
Just when I thought the best part of the tour was Paris........you went to Milan.  One of my favorite cities.  I have cousins there and went quite often when I lived in Europe.  Ah.....the Duomo, La Scala, all the good food......Milan is fantastic.
 
But I think the best part of this segment is the Violin Museum.  Such beautiful pictures of the Stradivari instruments, I got tears in my eyes.  When I read that your cello was c. 1685 I thought, "I must ask him to post a photo."  But then there it was, the last picture.
 
Magnifico!!!  Grazie!!!
 
 


I have to confess that the cello that I played on the tour was not my Ruggeri cello. As a matter of fact, it wasn't even my cello. My Ruggeri never goes on tour. I have brought my second cello for the past 33 years, since I acquired my Ruggeri. The reason this wasn't even my second cello was because on our last international tour, January, 2016 to Asia, I had my first-ever accident with my instrument on a tour, and it was badly damaged. I fell getting into a freight elevator, because someone already in the elevator pushed the button to close the doors as I was walking in, not realizing that the doors closed in the middle, and as the door from the floor was coming up, I was walking in and I tripped, carrying my cello. When I looked up from the floor I saw my cello to the right and the neck to the left. It had been ripped off the body of the instrument. It is still being restored. The scary part is that I had actually thought about bringing my Ruggeri on the tour because in 42 years nothing had ever happened. I'm so glad I didn't!!!
 
David
#53
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 17:03:57 (permalink)
David, The report and photos are so polished...thank you.
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 17:32:03 (permalink)
This is a superb report....more Italy, please.
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lleechef
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 18:37:20 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/02/11 08:00:58
For everyone who has thoroughly enjoyed this trip report, please, please, please read this and be impressed.  Thank you, mar, for sending this to me.  Truly a master musician. 
#56
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 18:57:56 (permalink)
lleechef
For everyone who has thoroughly enjoyed this trip report, please, please, please read this and be impressed.  Thank you, mar, for sending this to me.  Truly a master musician. 




Very impressive. Thanks for the link...
#57
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 18:58:45 (permalink)
Davidsanders
lleechef
Just when I thought the best part of the tour was Paris........you went to Milan.  One of my favorite cities.  I have cousins there and went quite often when I lived in Europe.  Ah.....the Duomo, La Scala, all the good food......Milan is fantastic.
 
But I think the best part of this segment is the Violin Museum.  Such beautiful pictures of the Stradivari instruments, I got tears in my eyes.  When I read that your cello was c. 1685 I thought, "I must ask him to post a photo."  But then there it was, the last picture.
 
Magnifico!!!  Grazie!!!
 
 


I have to confess that the cello that I played on the tour was not my Ruggeri cello. As a matter of fact, it wasn't even my cello. My Ruggeri never goes on tour. I have brought my second cello for the past 33 years, since I acquired my Ruggeri. The reason this wasn't even my second cello was because on our last international tour, January, 2016 to Asia, I had my first-ever accident with my instrument on a tour, and it was badly damaged. I fell getting into a freight elevator, because someone already in the elevator pushed the button to close the doors as I was walking in, not realizing that the doors closed in the middle, and as the door from the floor was coming up, I was walking in and I tripped, carrying my cello. When I looked up from the floor I saw my cello to the right and the neck to the left. It had been ripped off the body of the instrument. It is still being restored. The scary part is that I had actually thought about bringing my Ruggeri on the tour because in 42 years nothing had ever happened. I'm so glad I didn't!!!
 
David


YIKES!  Yes, I would never even consider taking a Ruggeri on tour.  Well, the cello that you are playing in the picture is a beautiful instrument. 
#58
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 19:16:08 (permalink)
lleechef
For everyone who has thoroughly enjoyed this trip report, please, please, please read this and be impressed.  Thank you, mar, for sending this to me.  Truly a master musician. 


Thank you all for the wonderful comments, and for reading the link to my bio. It's been a great honor, privilege and joy to be a member of the Chicago Symphony, for any length of time, and for so long. I would point out now that the first sentence should actually say "in his fifth decade!
David
 
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Re: January 2017 London and Chicago Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017/02/10 19:25:54 (permalink)
Sunday, January 22nd
 
 
 
Another charter flight, today to Vienna. The view from the plane.

 

 
After checking into the hotel I went directly to the pastry shop Demel with three of my colleagues. It’s normally my first stop when arriving in Vienna. I managed to keep it to only three pastries, but I was able to share the apple strudel that one of my colleagues ordered.

 

 
I believe this is either an almond cake or hazelnut.

 
Chocolate mousse cake.

 
No description needed.

 
Demel
Kohlmarkt 14
http://www.demel.at/en/index_en_flash.htm
 
 
Dinner was at a restaurant I went to a couple of times during our week here in 2014.

 
I had the Wienerschnitzel with fried potatoes. Wonderful.

 
My colleague Loren had the Tafelspitz, boiled beef with roasted potatoes.

 
With my colleagues, violinists Wendy Koons Mier and Florence Schwartz, and cellists Loren Brown and Linc Smelser.

 
 
Restaurant Pürstner
Rienergasse 10
http://www.puerstner.com/welcome-to-puerstner/
 
 
Much more to come.....
 
 
 
 
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