Day 7: Another suitcase in another hall

YPSO packed up the coaches for a day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia today.  The weather has turned cool in the low 70s with a pleasant breeze, perfect for touring.  Our buses safely crossed through the border amidst level fields of flourishing crops and within an hour glimpsed the picturesque old town and castle of Bratislava.

We disembarked at the Bratislava River Center and knew we had landed in a distant village because the WC facilities suddenly cost E.50 !?!?

We strolled with our four local guides to the Old Town and got a flavor for the unique Slovakian culture.  Post-communist Slovakians wanted to rebuild the city with the character that exemplified the people’s humor and optimism, refurbishing and painting its buildings in bright colors with whimsical flare.

It turns out that many of the greatest European composers spent productive time in Slovakia.

St. Michael’s Tower is the last surviving tower of Bratislava’s original military towers erected to protect the town.

The Old City Hall and other buildings in the area are still used today for administrative purposes.

We enjoyed lunch and shopping in the Old Town on our own with friends.

Some found the experience of eating traditional Slovakian fare transformative!

The orchestra has had plenty of experience accompanying soloists throughout the season, but this was their first time ever playing with Marion Svetlik.  Mr. Svetlik is concertmaster of the Slovak Radio Symphony.  His interpretation of the Bruch violin concerto was different from our previous soloist’s and equally gorgeous.  The orchestra accompanied him beautifully and Mr. Svetlik was very complimentary.

Before the concert, we enjoyed a group dinner at the elegant restaurant Reduta opposite the Slovak Philharmonic Hall.

The Slovak Radio Concert Hall is actually a recording studio, and our hosts recorded the concert.  They will broadcast it on a very popular and prestigious classical music program.  Their announcer will introduce YPSO.  We will let you know the broadcast date as soon as we hear more details.

Besides many family and friends, we recruited some new YPSO fans including our bus drivers and tour guides.  After spending many days with these seemingly normal, goofy American kids, they were blown away by their talent, artistry and impressive work ethic.

Maestro David post-performance said, “I think that was the best that we’ve ever played Rimsky-Korsakov!”

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7 Responses to Day 7: Another suitcase in another hall

  1. csealine says:

    Are those organ pipes behind you guys?

  2. Crystal says:

    Shelly has a nice mix of tour guide information and personal knowledge of the people on the trip to enhance the photos…..what a wonderful storied tour. Thanks to the photographer(s)? as well. The orchestra looks awesome on that massive concert stage.

    • shellyginlee says:

      Vladimir is our official photog and is doing a superb job capturing all of the moments on tour. There are exponentially more photos than you see here in the blog on our smugmug site!

  3. Liza Ring says:

    I love how Shelly’s narrative combines the realities of everyday life with sublime historical details, served up with wit and good humor. It’s wonderful to see what a great experience the group is having, both on and off stage.

  4. Thanks Shelly for your posts and Vlad for the pictures. We appreciate the good work.

  5. Renee says:

    Great journey on the site and the blog!! Thank you Shelly!!

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