Vienna, Austria (Nov. 8-14, 2005)

Dear Readers,


Hello again and thank you for visiting my journal.  I realize it's been a long time since my last entry, so I'd like to apologize, especially to those that have been checking back. This last trip, however, was especially memorable so I'm very happy to say that I have plenty of pictures to share with you.


I left Chicago early last week, stopped in Amsterdam , and arrived here in Austria Wednesday afternoon.  I took a taxi to my hotel, which turned out to be directly across the street from the Vienna Konzerthaus, where I was to perform in two days. The reason for this trip was to perform the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. 

After settling into my room, I ventured off into the city, armed with camera in hand, to grab some photos while the day was still bright.  Just down the street I found the famed Vienna State Opera House, the beautiful Musikverein, as well as various museums and palaces...just a preview of what I would get to see in the upcoming days.  As it was starting to get dark, I decided to head back to the hotel to rest for my 9am rehearsal with the orchestra the following day. 


Upon arriving at the concert hall, I found it to be even more beautiful than I expected, with elegant chandeliers and architecture throughout.  The first rehearsal went very well and I found the conductor to be extremely amiable and enjoyable to work with.  Also, the orchestra was one of the friendliest and most receptive I've ever played with.  After the rehearsal, I walked around the area for a bit before heading back to my hotel to rest for the performance the following day. 


The next morning, I warmed up and then headed off to the dress rehearsal. We touched up a few things, I practiced a little on my own, and then before I knew it it was night and I was in the dressing room ready to go on. The hall was sold-out and I was welcomed with an exceptionally warm applause as I walked on.  The performance went as smoothly as could be. Afterwards, I met with audience members and signing autographs. As soon as everyone had left, I headed off to dinner down the street with some new friends. 


Since I had never been to Vienna , I gave myself three days for sightseeing following the concert, which turned out to be a true blast!  I spent the first day walking down Vienna 's most famous street, the pedestrian-only Kärntnerstrasse, which was filled with all types of street performers from mimes to break-dancers, as well as a huge diversity of shops.  I soon found myself at the famed St. Stephens Cathedral, which seems to pop out of nowhere despite its utter massiveness.  As I continued onward, I passed numerous monuments, palaces, and museums, most of which are lavishly decorated in gold. As stores began closing, I grabbed a bratwurst at a local street vendor and headed back to my hotel. 


Over the next day I visited the Musikverein (home of the Vienna Philharmonic) and explored the south side of the city, touring the renowned Belvedere museum. Christmas lights were beginning to go up throughout the streets, covering lampposts and shop windows, making the city all the more beautiful. Taking a slight detour, I stopped by St. Stephens Cathedral again, this time to find the Vienna Boy's Choir rehearsing, so I stopped and listened in for awhile.  On my final day in Vienna , I explored more of the city on foot, experienced its famous pastries, and managed to get a ticket for a very memorable performance of Alban Berg's opera, Lulu, at the Vienna State Opera.


Now here I am at 5am and on my way to the airport to catch my flight back to the States. It's off to Chicago for a few days before my next batch of recitals.   I sincerely hope you enjoy my photos and thanks again for reading! Till next time...


Yours truly,

Ashu

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Arriving in Vienna
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Train on the streets
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Vienna Konzerthaus
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The hall up closer
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Poster for my concert
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Fall in Vienna
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My saxophone in the morning

Inside the Konzerthaus

The stage

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Outside the Musikverein

Outside the Albertina museum

St. Stephens Cathedral

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Cathedral front view

Vienna State Opera House

Bratwurst

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Viennese pastries

Another pastry shop

Outside another museum

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My hotel

Inside the Musikverein

Another view of the Golden Hall

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Concert hall's ceiling

The Belvedere Museum

Walk sign

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Viennese architecture

Dome with bird net

Golden monument

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Guided tours

Outside the Hofburg Palace

hmmm...

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Vienna Philharmonic this way

Statue decorated in gold

Opera house chandelier

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Opera House at intermission
Personal subtitles
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