by Martin Fröst June 26th, 2008


On tour with BBT

Saturday, May 10th

The BBT tour group meet up at Detroit Airport. Susan Rivers, Llŷr Williams and Christian Poltéra fly in from London, Mitsuko Uchida and Soovin Kim arrive from New York.  I fly in from Stockholm via New York and find the others waiting for me in Detroit.  We are driven the 2 hour journey from the Airport to the town of Kalamazoo where the first concert of the tour is to take place as part of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.

Sunday, 11th May

Contemplating a lovely week ahead with Mitsuko and the boys. It already feels as if it is flying by. We are like a school class or a kindergarten. Mitsuko is our big sister and Susan our very organised mother. Everyone totally trusts her and gives up their normal control to her.

In rehearsal with “Big Sister” Mitsuko, Christian and Soovin

Monday, 12th May

The coffee shop girl at the hotel in Kalamazoo is totally in love with Christian and keeps giving him complements about this hair…

Tuesday, 13th May

First concert at the Dalton Recital Hall, Western Michigan University

Wednesday, 14th May

We had a wonderful experience at the concert yesterday. The hall was packed with the audience on the stage as well. A group of 15 young and gifted clarinet players came all the way from Interlaken, Michigan to the concert. Lovely people. Lots of talking and loads of photos taken.

We had been joking about having a stretch limo to ferry us around and finally we got one to take us back to Detroit airport to travel on to Philadelphia. It looked great from the outside but when we got in we could hardly fit us all in and some of the luggage and instruments ended up on our laps.

I am longing for my one-year-old little daughter, Matilda. Matilda and I speak via Skype every day…She shows me her new dance moves: she is very gifted.

Thursday, 15th May

Lots of joy during the concert in Philly, in its wonderful chamber music hall at the Kimmel Center.  Also we found a great seafood restaurant just around the corner from the hotel.

Performing Bartok “Contrasts” with Soovin Kim and Llŷr Williams

Friday, 16th May

This morning we are taking the train from Philly to New York.

Saturday, 17th May

The concert in Carnegie, Zankel Hall was for me the most spiritual and focused. Another wonderful audience. What an extraordinary piece the Quartet for the End of Time is. You never get used to the experience. It is as if you are totally reborn each time you perform it. When the last high note from the violin has gone to heaven you become a new person. I think that is the feeling for the listener too. The listening part is also very special for the players in the movements in which you are not participating. And of course if you do this piece with a totally magical musician as Mitsuko every single movement has another dimension. The touch, the colours and the dynamic that she brings out of the piano is so extraordinarily subtle and unique. I wonder what it is going to be like to play this piece with another pianist now.

At the reception after the concert I met Ilaria Borletti. She is an amazing woman and seemed to be really happy with the concert.

“Mama” Susan Rivers, Mitsuko Uchida and Ilaria Borletti-Buitoni

Happy performers: Christian Poltéra, Martin Fröst, Mitsuko Uchida, Llŷr Williams, Soovin Kim

The BBT family: Susan, Christian, Martin, Mitsuko, Ilaria, Llŷr and Soovin

Sunday, 18th May

Christian and I are hanging out a lot in the wonderful Apple Store waiting for the new iPod touch phone to arrive. In the meantime Christian bought an iPod touch. The Store is open 24 hours so I went there for the last time at 7am just to be alone in the shop – or at least this is what I thought. It was crowded. Unbelievable – 7am on Sunday!!!

So at the end of the tour almost the whole BBT family is together. A great week has gone by and it is a pity that it is over but it is not the ‘end of time’ as we will all meet again for our tour in Europe in November.