Nevada - California - Pennyslvania  (April 2007)
Dear Readers,

Welcome back and thank you for visiting my journal. Over these past couple of weeks I've had the please of doing some most enjoyable concerts - in Nevada, California, and Pennsylvania.

For the Nevada concerts I flew into Reno airport - a very unusual experience upon arriving. As soon as you step out of the gates you're surrounded with slot machines flooding the terminals. Flashing lights and enthusiastic gamblers galore (many who sit down as soon as they arrive!). My trip here was to perform several concertos with orchestra (over two performances). It's always extremely nice getting to repeat a program with an orchestra - in addition, the first was to be filmed for TV broadcast.

I arrived a day early to do a radio interview on Nevada's NPR affiliate, which was broadcast throughout the state. I had a most enjoyable live chat with the radio host at the studio. Afterwards, the hosts for the trip drove me around Lake Tahoe, an incredibly beautiful scenery and atmosphere. From the snow covered ski slopes to the sandy beaches, it seems to have it all. In addition to the performance being televised, I was scheduled to do a pre-concert "meet the artist" question/answer session with the audience. The hall was packed and it was an absolute blast. I really hope to do more of these. I think they give a terrific opportunity for the audience and performer to get to know each other a little before the concert. It went very well and, as a result, I think the performance had a special rapport.

Lastly, over the past couple of months I have been doing my encores accompanied by the orchestra, but here I decided to try a solo unaccompanied piece. It was such a unique change to stand up on stage performing all alone for 5-6 minutes, and it went over so well with the audience, I'll definitely have to do this again. There's something about the complete, uninhibited freedom of performing alone to a packed hall (and one that has already shown their appreciation) that is so incredibly liberating. It's truly unlike anything else.

The other trip I did last week was to Southern California (to perform with the Bakersfield Symphony), where I performed with the same conductor (and same 3 concertos) I did last month in New Mexico. It's a beautiful opportunity getting to revisit a program with a conductor - you already know each other and there's a mutual feeling for the music. The rehearsals were a breeze and the performance went terrifically. In addition, we had a second performance the following day where the entire orchestra drove to a neighboring town to perform in a beautiful, intimate theatre. The hall was full and it was a most receptive audience.

I'm now in Pennsylvania having just performed a recital with piano. The travel here turned out to be a bit of an adventure. After several flight delays and cancellations (and getting stuck in Detroit overnight), the first flight the following day got my pianist and me in at 5pm, just two hours before the concert (little tight for my taste!). Nevertheless, the concert went beautifully. I'm scheduled to fly out at 6am (which is why there aren't many photos for this trip - other than the hall!). Anyhow, I think the extra excitement only energized the performance more. After all, it's part of what I love about traveling. It's now 5:30 a.m. and I'm sitting at the airport. It looks like my flight is about to board soon so I should probably go. Thank you again for visiting my website and journal, and until next time...

Yours truly,
Ashu

Reno/Tahoe, Nevada
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Tahoe mountains
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Airport slot machines
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Lake Tahoe
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Tree in the rocks
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Lake Tahoe from afar
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Snowy Tahoe mountains
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Inside the hall (1st concert) Concert hall lobby Nevada desert
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Tide pool Inside the hall (2nd concert) Side view
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Balcony seats Waiting for the flight From the plane
Bakersfield, California
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Outside the hall Another view Inflatable hockey man
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Close-up of the hall Concert banner Inside the hall
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My dressing room View from the stage Outside the theatre (concert #2)
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Inside the theatre My hotel room Cool TV in the rooms
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Concert day newspaper Atmospheric day from above
Latrobe, Pennsylvania
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View of the hall Pianist practicing From the stage
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Another view Outside the lobby Hall's lobby entrance
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Winding up From above
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