Unexpectedly, I needed to make a trip to my hometown in California, and thus this blog entry comes late, my apologies. The quickest route from Lisbon involves a very tight connection at the Paris airport (walk FAST) and then a very long direct flight from Paris to Los Angeles. Amazing double-decker plane from Airbus, see below!
Now, can you imagine that in such an enormous plane my seat is right next to a prominent musician of the Los Angeles Philharmonic? (To my Portuguese friends, this is like being seated next to Ronaldo!) I mean, the LA Phil is "my orchestra": I grew up going to their concerts every weekend, listening to my teacher, Principal Flute Anne Diener Zentner's wonderful playing, as well as unforgettable moments like Carlo Maria Giulini's inaugural concert as Principal Conductor—Beeethoven's "Egmont" and Ninth Symphony. Divine. Bought a student/last-minute ticket for $5 and sat in one of the best seats in the house.
As it turns out, my plane-neighbor was not yet in the LA Phil at that time, but there are many players I fondly remember who are still there now, such as Bassoonist Patricia Kindel, who coached my quintet at Pomona College. So what was to have been a long, dreary flight became total entertainment of shop-talk and comparing notes! A new professional friendship was formed, and Los Angeles arrived in the blink of an eye.
Last but not least, at one point my neighbor asked out of the blue: "Do you play Powell? They're the best!" Mind you, my new friend is not a flutist, nor knows that I'm a Powell dealer/player. But that is how Powell is considered by top musicians: the top, for the top jobs, worldwide!