A Day in the Life of LCSO

8:00 am -- Breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant, which includes a whole pot of coffee, a dainty cup of juice, various meats and cheeses, raw salmon, liver pâté, eggs, rolls, jams, cereals, 3% milk, and dried fruit. Oh, and Nutella. I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention the Nutella.

8:45 am -- A walk to rehearsal down the busy Mariahilfer Street and a left turn onto Otto Bauer Street. I make a mental note to look up who Otto Bauer is before our test, because I know Dr. Strauss has mentioned him. Or someone else named Otto. They’re all named Otto.

9:00 am -- We start rehearsal with Joyce (where we always rehearse measure 163), then Bernstein (where we always have to start the first movement over again because we’re not together), then Copland (where we always have to think B MAJOR at rehearsal number 23), and finally Sibelius (where we have all kinds of problems to deal with).

12:00 pm -- A walk back to the hotel past a poster on a nearby building advertising our concert on Friday. At least, I think it’s advertising our concert, it’s completely in German. It could be a wanted poster for all I know.

12:20 pm -- The line for lunch at the Hotel Kummer stretches for miles probably mainly because we’re standing in awe of the wonderful food. Words cannot describe the delight I feel when I eat one of their dumplings, or savor a plate of olive oil noodles. All I can say is that a month from now, when I’m eating a turkey sandwich and Doritos for lunch, I will shed a single tear in memory of the gnocchi and artichoke soup I had today.

1:30 pm -- String players meet in the hotel lobby and proceed to play sardines and/or subway surfing en route to our tour.

2:00 pm -- We arrive at Belvedere Palace, where you are NOT allowed to stand on the grass. Also, it was the summer palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy. I officially see my twentieth selfie stick of the trip (yes I’m keeping track. If you don’t know what a selfie stick is, I highly suggest you google it because it’s worth it).


2:15 pm -- We begin our tour of the art museum in the palace. Thanks to the wisdom of our guide Thomas, we learned all sorts of cool behind the scenes fun facts on the paintings we saw, like how Klimt never married but had like eleven children from various mothers, or how Gerstl had an affair with Schoenberg's wife, convinced her to run away with him, then lost her a year later when Schoenberg persuaded her back. And you know that famous painting of Napoleon majestically riding a horse? Well, apparently that’s all made up because he actually didn’t lead the troops on a dashing white stallion. He instead chose to bring up the rear on a mule. But that image didn’t make quite as snazzy of a painting.

4:00 pm -- We are told we can do whatever we want after the tour. So naturally we buy out the gift shop.

5:00 pm -- We’re on our own for dinner, so the choices are pretty much unlimited. Tonight was a Chinese takeout kind of night.

5:30 pm -- I sit down to write this blog and consider my options for the rest of the evening. A group of people plan to see the London Symphony, and another group plans to go ice skating near City Hall. There’s so much to do and less than ten days to do it. I’m already wondering how I’m going to adjust back to small town life in Decorah after this month. Maybe the caf will serve schnitzel?

Upper Belvedere Palace