An Aixtraordinary visit – 24 Hours With the RSNO & Nikolai Lugansky

In the auditorium of Grand Théâtre de Provence

Last month the RSNO and Music Director Peter Oundjian traveled to Aix-en-Provence for a concert of music by Messiaen, Beethoven and Rachmaninov. The concert, which took place at the Grand Théâtre de Provence, featured Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances, Messiaen’s Les offrandes oubliéesand Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 with soloist Nikolai Lugansky. 

The trip followed a critically acclaimed appearance together by the orchestra, conductor and soloist at the 2013 BBC Proms earlier in the year, where they performed a programme of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Naresh Sohal. 
Our Subscriber and Membership Manager, Mairi Foster, reflects on the short trip:  

From 8am on Tuesday 26 November, musicians and staff started arriving at Glasgow Airport ready for a whirlwind tour to Aix-en-Provence. 
The RSNO private charter flight departed on time and landed at Marseille Provence Airport at 2.30pm local time. After checking into the hotel, we had a couple of hours for a coffee, crêpe and a quick look around the before heading to the Grand Théâtre de Provence for rehearsal.  
The concert of Messiaen, Beethoven and Rachmaninov was conducted by Music Director Peter Oundjian and featured pianist Nikolai Lugansky. As ever the Orchestra ended the performance with an encore of Eightsome Reels, which had the audience clapping and cheering. This was the RSNO’s debut in this artistic region of France, and hopefully it will not be our last!
We had an early breakfast in the hotel, watching a brief flutter of snow, before heading off to the airport for the journey home. It was a hectic twenty-four hours full of great music with beautiful views of the picturesque countryside.  
I’m sure I am not alone in considering a future holiday to Provence, preferably when it is a little warmer! 
A bientôt 
Mairi