Monday, February 21, 2011

Another multi-day post, London - music, Stanford le Hope and on to Ireland

Blog 2-21-11

More adventures from several days…

Thursday, February 17

I attended a Eucharist at St. Mary le Strand, where Jim Rosenthal was presiding.    Then we got to go to lunch and catch up.   Jim is a Chicagoan who went to work for the Anglican Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury some years ago.  He knows everyone.    It was fun to catch up.


I found out Thursday morning that Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, who I have mentioned was staying with at Chez Solti as well, was performing with the Philharmonia Orchestra that evening (concert pianist).    They did not have comped tickets, but he invited me to come.    I purchased a ticket that morning.

So, I was heading out that evening ,towards the tube stop, and let everyone know where I was going.   Lady Solti suggested I wait and go with the Bavouzets who were about to leave by taxi (as Jean-Efflam was performing in the 2nd half)  

So, I rode in the taxi with Jean-Efflam and his wife Andrea.   They were going to try to arrange to get me a ticket with Andrea and Lady Solti (I bought one that was somewhere else)   So, I got to enter through the performer’s entrance at Royal Festival Hall and go backstage.   

I ended up seated with Andrea and Lady Solti for the performance.    The seats were a great view of the piano.

Carl Maria Von Weber: Overture, Oberon
Robert Schumann: Symphony No.3 in E flat (Rhenish), Op.97
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 (Emperor)
Christoph von Dohnányi conductor (who, by the way is 82 years old)
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet piano
Jean-Efflam was astounding.   It was a great performance.

He is playing in Chicago, April 13, 2011 with the Orchestre National de France at Symphony Center.
I highly recommend seeing him!

I also was invited to go out with them afterwards.     That was great, I got to meet all kinds of people, including a record exec from Decca (Georg Solti and Chicago Symphony all have recorded under that label, though CSO now has their own – CSO Resound), I met a guy from Chandos records – the label Jean-Efflam records under.   There were a variety of others – local pianists from London, other Bavouzet entourage.  

The restaurant had a piano not far from where we were sitting. At the end of the evening, one of the pianists got up and started to play, joined by Jean-Efflam, then a 3rd, and then a 4th.  It was fantastic and the whole restaurant applauded at the end. (just total jam session with 4 pianists on one piano!)

Jean-Efflam is one of the most gracious people I have met.   He was so nice to fans who stopped him on the way out.   A class act all the way around.  I got to hear more about his favorite conductors to work with, just his thoughts on the performance etc.     It was cool.  He was so kind and gracious to me, and I’m certainly no big wig in the music world.  

I am so familiar with the world of classical music having grown up surrounded by it with my father’s music.   It was great to be surrounded for a brief time again!   (I surround myself as much as I can with CSO etc)  and this was the 4th Thursday in a row that I heard an Orchestra Concert (3 in a row in Chicago) and then London!


I had a wonderful weekend with the Hirst clan in Stanford le Hope (in Essex)!  I took the train from London.

Danny Hirst worked for our camp in 1998 (our very first year at Camp Algonquin).  We have kept up a friendship ever since.     Many of us have been to visit him and his mum, Maureen, a lovely woman, who considers many of us her other children (especially Jamian Knuth, who is son #3)

We just spent most of our time catching up (and eating!)  I got to see Danny’s brother Matthew, meet his wife Vicki , their 5 year old Caitlin (who is quite the dancer, she entertained us!) and their 15 year old teenage foster daughter, Courtney – who is just lovely.  Yes, of course I hit it off with the teenager, it’s what’ I do!

A weekend wasn’t quite enough time, but I hope to catch up with them on my 2nd trip through London this sabbatical!

Danny was fully informed of all of the camp news, and waited with me while I was awaiting word from Camp after the Friday meeting with the Conservation District.  He was also with me when I got the news.   It was good to be with a camp person when the news that arrived was not very pleasant!

Of course, some of my weekend was absorbed with dealing with the Camp Algonquin news, and getting a statement sent out before people heard any other way.  I felt (as did everyone else) that it was important that the news come from me directly, so that they knew it was getting immediate attention and that I support the efforts of the people working on solutions at home.

See our news release.

Our appeal to the McHenry County Conservation District did not work.    They are not willing to continue to run Camp Algonquin.

Lynda Fauser is still hopeful, but we are looking for a place to hold camp.   We WILL have camp in 2011, we just don’t know where.      I just don’t feel like we’re done with Camp Algonquin, or that I’m done with Camp Algonquin.  It holds a very special place in my heart!  

I was showing Danny and Maureen pictures of Camp that I have taken recently (in the fall, of the river, in the spring etc)  and it is an amazing place in so many ways!

We ask your prayers:
That we find a place to hold camp in 2011 and beyond
For all of the other groups displaced by this news
For the Camp Algonquin staff who have been so good to us and have worked to keep the place going.
For the off chance that there might still be a miracle and Camp Algonquin might still continue to operate!

February 21, 2011

I flew from London to Dublin today (of course the flight was delayed for an hour for really no reason, they just told us to sit, air traffic back up)    I got to Dublin almost an hour late.   I caught a bus from the airport to the train station (easy)   and took the train from Dublin to Cork (about an hour 42 minutes)

It was a lovely ride.   The Irish countryside is beautiful!   It’s very green here.   I saw hills that looked like small mountains, lots of sheep (Irish sheep), cows and horses.    The sun was out, the rolling hills were green.  It was beautiful.  I wish I could have stopped to take pictures.   It was beautiful!

I arrived in Cork just before 6 pm.    I got to the B & B (Fernroyd House – where Clare Nolan and Ted Long stayed when they visited Charlotte last semester when she was studying here)   It is lovely.   The room is beautiful (en suite)  They have been very helpful as to where to go to eat, things to do, suggestions, and just making sure I was settled and had what I needed!   I feel very at home.

I am planning to go to Blarney tomorrow morning (to the Castle) and probably will be in Cork in the afternoon (rain is predicted)   Later in the week I’m planning on Kinsall     Cobh (thanks Katie Graham).

I hope to get some good pictures here!

More soon!

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