I could find no glamour in running for a train at 5.45am and catching it by the skin of my teeth, arriving at Stansted at 7.30am, landing in Madrid and going straight to the hall to rehearse in the knowledge that the concert later on in the day wouldn’t finish until 12.40am. If there was any glamour, it passed me by somewhere on the duty free trolley. I was asleep. The advantage of the late concert in Madrid (kick off 22.30) is that you can have dinner before the show in comfort. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that as well as missing the glamour, I also miss my family, an occupational hazard you would say but one which, despite doing this for 17 years, I just don’t get used to. So it has been a rather nice couple of days for me, as waiting for me at the hotel for dinner before the show was my little brother. Brotherly love doesn’t quite extend to flying out specially to keep me company; he is in fact playing in the second of the two concerts. If you look at the concert we played in Madrid and on Thursday in the Barbican you will find some Kurt Weill in the programme – not a regular visitor in these parts but welcome all the same. This is the piece he has come to play.
Although we grew up playing together, I went into the orchestral world whereas my brother Huw went into the far more sensible and lucrative world of electric guitars, touring and generally being more cool and hip than me, working with assorted rock gods, taking private jets, appearing on Top of the Pops and other cool things that I like to boast about at parties. So to punish him I have made him wear tails and play the banjo in the LSO.
I introduced him to MTT.