Borletti-Buitoni Trust
09 November 2009

How lucky am I?

by Tine Thing Helseth

I was walking by the sea, the wind and rain was almost unbearable, and I tried to listen to the answer machine on my mobile. The distance between the rehearsal venue and my hotel was not very long, but in this weather it was not very pleasant. The message on my mobile was from Susan Rivers; had I heard about the Borletti Buitoni Trust?

It’s a year ago since this very nice phone call from Susan. And what a year! A lot of exciting things have happened, and I am very grateful for being a part of the “BBT family”. (It was very exciting and special to receive a message on my answer machine from Mitsuko Uchida, and even more exiting to try to call her back, I was in Vietnam and I think she was somewhere in between London and New York… not easy with the time difference.

Trondheim Soloists at Canterbury Cathedral

Trondheim Soloists

My last month has been busy and there have been so many different impressions to digest. I started in Dusseldorf, and then I went to Russia. Novgorod and St. Petersburg, the last city must be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I am a little obsessed with architecture, great buildings, palaces and city landscapes, and to experience so much authentic historic buildings of all sorts was truly special. After a week in Russia I went to Norway (but not home to Oslo) and to Trondheim for a rehearsal with the Trondheim Soloists. We were to go on a tour with the following destinations: Nordfjordeid, Bergen, London, Canterbury, Leeds and Hammerfest.

London: Playing an instrument is universal. I get in to the lift at the hotel in London (with my oversized suitcase, handbag and trumpet bag), and a nice gentleman with his wife joins me for the short journey. – Had I known you were here I would have taken my trumpet with me! He exclaims with a smile. I smile back and almost tell him that I do in fact have more than one with me, but instead I answer that it is nice to meet a fellow trumpet player, and I hope that he is not going to take a nap because he will probably hear me practise later. It is wonderful that you can meet people at the weirdest places in which you have this musical language in common, even though your mother tongue is not the same.  All the cellos and violins walking around on airports around the world, I feel like I know them all and that we are all part of a huge family. The cello I happened to be seated next to on a flight from Copenhagen to Vienna once is probably an extended cousin or something…  I always smile at them, they smile back, and we get this warm familiar feeling of having something in common, a musical language.



Back to London and my UK tour. Speaking of architecture and buildings, Canterbury was a dream come true! The concert was in the cathedral, and wow, the way the sound filled this enormous room, not something I will easily forget. Neither will I forget the streets of the small city. I woke up an hour early the day we went to Leeds, just to walk alone in the streets and enjoy the houses and the atmosphere. (The night before, after the concert, I think some members of the orchestra got extremely tired of my; oh look!.. now that is special… have you ever seen something so cosy?!?.) The concert hall in Leeds was also something I will not forget so easily! The whole UK tour was a fantastic journey. Great places and so many extremely nice people, both in the orchestra, the audience, and of course great to meet up with Susan, David and Debra from BBT, so supporting and giving.

The tour ended in Hammerfest, way up in the most northern part of Norway (you might think that it is completely dark up there at this time of the year, and that polo bears walk around in the streets, neither of this is true I’m afraid… Still about a short month until the sun almost never gets up in the morning).  Canterbury is beautiful, but so is the Norwegian nature! (I must be allowed to brag just a little bit, I’m a city girl from Oslo and the nature still overwhelms me.)

My last year has been great, my last month has been great, and hopefully my next month and year will be just as exciting. I wake up every morning and think: I just love what I do, how lucky am I?!?