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Claire Parfitt


Tired but happy

A tired but happy orchestra

A tired but happy orchestra

The bus is crowded.  Instruments on laps, bags everywhere. It's hot and steamy.  Everyone wants to be on the first bus back to the hotel.  The concert was over about 17 minutes ago.   When it comes to leaving a venue the LSO is slick.  Very slick.

Claire announces that she's READY.  Another 10 people cram on.

There are three buses to take us back to the hotel.  Everyone wants to be on the first bus. First to the bar.

The stage crew will have the lorry packed and off in no time.

Tomorrow another plane, another country, another town, another hotel, another venue,  another concert, another bus and another bar.

Right we're there.  Quick, off the bus. No, not the hotel bar. It's too expensive. There's that little place round the corner.

It's chilly in the night air and we dont waste any time.  In the deserted cafe we dump our bags in the corner.  The waitress tries to set some dining places, but we save her the trouble as we are only there for a beer.

That first Korean pilsner tastes very good.

Did you enjoy the concert? Yes, what about you? Yes it was alright. I had problems staying awake.  Yes me too. 

Any way, what's tomorrow? 

We're flying to China.

What's the program?

There's no concert.  It's a free evening.


Apparently, It's snowing in Beijing.


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When one door closes ....

.... another opens?

I joined the LSO on the 24th April 1979. Keen and eager and sitting near the front of the first violin section. On 25th November this year I'll be 65 years old, sitting nearer the back, and under the terms of the membership I'll be leaving the orchestra. Perhaps not quite so keen and eager, but hopefully a better musician. But as my long time friend and colleague Claire Parfitt keeps saying ... "there's many a good tune played on an old fiddle".

At the end of this year I'll be retiring to Tavernes, a small village in Provence. 

Its a massive change going from a full time job in the LSO to a life in France.   Someone said, it's like going from being a small fish in a big pond to being a big fish in a small pond. I'd like to explain that Flaque is french for puddle. Secheresse is when there's no water at all. ..... I thought it might help to write about it.

Its got to the stage now where most concerts Im playing pieces for the last time. And after 38 years, most pieces have a personal history to them. Some funny moments, some challenges, some delights and some train crashes too.

Playing in this band evokes profound feelings. I'm grateful for having had the privilege of playing with such great musicians and for having many as friends. I have been apprehensive about how to approach these final months. I'd like to treat it as a celebration.

cables at Abbey Road Studio this morning

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