The Schleswig-Holstein festival was founded in l987 by Leonard Bernstein, and encompasses the whole Schleswig-Holstein region with three concerts a day in July and August.  It's a massive and very efficient operation happening in towns, cities, and villages of historic interest.  Thanks to the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation/USArtists - an entity which supports the appearances of American artists abroad-  which has helped us to appear in this festival and that of Rheingau next week.

Inevitably it was time to stop recovering from our trip and get on to the first of our dozen performances on this tour.  Yesterday was a day containing just about all the ingredients of a day on the European summer festival circuit, so come along!

We leave the hotel in Kiel at 4.45pm for a 35 kilometer ride to Rendsburg in a light rain

In the 'dressing room' tour manager Brian finds our snacks

including this particularly picturesque bowl.  Our contract calls for snacks to be provided to keep us going from the warmup through the concert and up to the post-concert reception, which will be dinner for us

First on stage is Asssistant Music Director Matt Curtis who has to talk to the engineers who will tape the concert for radio broadcast in December.  They had a massive equipment bus parked outside - made us feel very important!

We had an extensive warmup (though actually not much more than usual) since this was our first performance of this program, and our two new members aren't used to all those extra-musical things, for instance, bows, curtain calls, etc.

The audience was very quiet and attentive and seemed to get more and more enthusiastic.  At intermission every one of them got up and walked outside for a glass of wine or whatever, despite the fact that it was raining.

The concert ended with people standing - we did two encores - "My Romance" and "All night, all day."  A lovely surprise - we were presented with roses by a group of children in traditional costume.

The CD stand was active at intermission and after

Then we were gathered for a walk to the restaurant where some of the patrons, local officials and organizers were waiting for us - for a moment there we were lost in the dark in the rain ( it's not really a day on a summer festival tour unless somebody is lost somewhere sometime between two points in a dark village.)  We wait for somebody to figure it out

The dinner and the people were very welcoming and happy and we settled down to the beer and the delicious dinner.

We were each presented with the most unusual gift we've ever received - a piece of a pipe from the old organ in the church 

great excitement when we discovered they could be played

an amusement which will have to be forbidden on the bus.

We got back to the hotel in Kiel at 12.30am or so.  We'll leave at 5.15 this evening for Plon for a concert in the Lutheran  Church there.  So far so good!