Juilliard 415 ON TOUR!
What’s more fun then being on tour with Juilliard’s own Historical Performance ensemble, Juilliard415, playing a Beethoven Mass and Haydn’s Surprise Symphony with Yale’s Schola Cantorum, traveling to London, Oxford, Windsor, Cambridge, and Paris?
Here’s a little snapshot into our three-day weekend:
Day 1 - Saturday
After heading to the airport right after graduation and getting on to our airplane with our instruments (which as a cellist is alway a little exciting) and flying across the Atlantic for 6+ hours, we arrived at London Heathrow International Airport on Saturday morning. Here’s a photo of the cello section of J415 on board our plane with our instruments snuggled into the seats next to us. We were pretty stoked!
On the bus after our flight, driving through London for the first time. We’re traveling to our hotel located in Russell Square which and we can’t wait to get there because we have the whole rest of the day on our own to explore London, although we’re a little bit jet-lagged.
Having checked into our hotel, and made it back out again, we’re off to lunch at a pub near Covent Garden to try British food for the first time. Mushy Peas? Steak ’n Ale Pie?
Today is a special day because we get to go meet the newest member of the historical performance department, Lyra Beatrix! Her parents, Anthony and Pippa met in HP three years ago and she is the first child of two graduates out of our program. She was only born a week ago and we’re some of the first people to get to meet her. Her parents invited us over for to their flat and we hung out, took her for a lovely walk through Regence Park, past the zoo, and up to the top of Primrose Hill. We came back for pizza but we were all pretty tuckered out after a long day of travel so we all made it an early night.
Day 2 - Sunday
Today is our first concert on tour! We’re off from London to Oxford by bus, having just experienced an English breakfast for the first time; beans and toast with eggs, back bacon and grilled tomatoes accompanied by a cup of breakfast tea with milk!
Once we get to Oxford, we start the morning off with a short rehearsal to see if we can all still play after traveling and our day of freedom. We’re hoping Haydn doesn’t surprise us too much today…
Pub food was so good yesterday… lets do it again. Down a skinny alley, we find the Turf Tavern, first opened in the 17th century, originally known as the ‘Spotted Cow.’ I have a Sunday roast before our sound check at 3 PM.
What might that spotted cow have looked like, you might ask? It probably looked like one of the oxen that gives Oxford its name, which we found wandering near the river after our sound check. The river itself was busy with many boaters including the traditional oxford punts.
Our very own Mary Poole, Manager of Historical Performance Activities, got us ready for our first concert on tour by making sure everything was in its place at the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Even though we were jet-lagged, I think that the space that we were playing in was so wonderful that we played one of the best performances that I’ve been a part of while at Juilliard over the past two years. It was really a pleasure to get to perform the Beethoven there!
Back to the bus and straight to our beds in London for a long and well deserved sleep.
Day 3 - Monday
Its a bank holiday which means that banks are all closed and everyone has the day off in the UK, which happens to coincide with our Memorial Day. We have an entire free day with no rehearsals or concerts. Time to be Touristy and take on London Town!
British Library to check out the King’s Treasures! There’s a copy of the first ever printed music here on display and a bunch of other beautiful manuscripts so I had a great time nerding out with my friends Carrie and Jacob. There were even unreleased records on the Beatles!!
Carrie navigated us down to the St. Paul’s Cathedral, letting us explore all sorts of different parts of the city. We found a great pub near by where we enjoyed lunch and drinks and rested our feet.
We wandered across the Millennium Bridge and then went to the Tate Modern on London’s Southbank, where we saw a Piccasso painting, a room of Rothkos, and many things created more recently including the feathered performance art costumes of Ana Mendieta.
After a quick pitstop to check if we could get standing room tickets for Shakespeare’s Globe next door, we walked back towards our hotel and started contemplating food.
Having decided to meet a half and hour later for dinner, I put in a solid twenty-three minutes of practice to keep the Op. 20 Haydn string quartet that I’m playing later in the week in my fingers.
Dinner in Camden, a hip area four double-decker bus stops away from the hotel where my friend, Marie wanted to get Tex-Mex. It was very entertaining to eat British Nachos.
31,780 steps later, its time to go to bed.