The First concert of the IPO’s South American tour took place Saturday night in Campinas.   After completing the program of three difficult Strauss tone poems, the applause didn’t stop, so the orchestra went on. Mehta called up the Overture to Mozart’s Magic Flute, “Tritsch-Tratsch Polka” and the “Thunder and Lightening Polka”.  Later in the week, the orchestra will return for an all-Beethoven concert and an outdoor concert, hoping to repeat the “outdoor” success of 4 years ago.

In the meantime, Sunday morning is occupied with traveling by bus to San Paolo and check-in at the Maksoud Plaza Hotel before tonight’s rehearsal and concert.  Can an orchestra become attached to a hotel?  This is the eighth visit of the IPO at the “Maksoud”; very familiar territory!  In 1980 one of the most unusual events in IPO history occurred: within 5 minutes of checking-in at the “Commodore” Hotel in San Paolo, the entire orchestra checked-out! It was just too dirty, dark and stale! The chaos of an entire orchestra scattered around a city of 15 million people 3 hours before concert time has become part of the IPO mythology; Avi Shoshani, 30 years later, still has nightmares about that day; it was his first tour as General Secretary!  A few players actually crawled into bed for a quick pre-concert nap at the Commodore only to wake up in an empty building completely abandoned by their colleagues!  Yes, everybody found their way to the evening concert, but all 105 members were on their own, spread out over this huge city.  To our rescue came the Lebanese owner of the newly built “Maksoud Plaza” who opened his doors to the Israel Philharmonic.  Then, it was an ultra modern hotel, the first with an “atrium” reaching up to the 20th floor, modern electronics and spotless rooms.

Home at the Maksoud Plaza from the 17th floor
Home at the Maksoud Plaza from the 17th floor


 Since then, some of the magic has worn off, but the IPO still considers it “home.”
The evening rehearsal  and concert open the series of three concerts at the Sala Sao Poalo.