Saturday was the Israel Philharmonic’s first visit of to one of the most prosperous areas of Brazil: Ribeirao Preto. 

This area of Brazil is the “California of South America” for its year-round warm climate, argicultural economy; in the 19th century coffee, citrus and sugar, and in the 21st century for its industry and high-tech.  During the 80’s and 90’s, the growing of sugar cane and its conversion to alcohol became central for the creation of bio-fuels for automobiles.  At the beginning of the 19th century, coffee drove the economy.  

The city boasted European-style cafes, caberets and opera houses, two of them!  The only survivor, Teatro Dom Pedro II, has been modernised and today is the home of the local symphony orchestra and the venue for Saturday’s IPO concert.  Pedro II was the second and last Emporer of Brazil.  He gradually emancipated the African slaves and permitted  the republican movement to take hold. 

Saturday afternoon, after two flights from Rio, the IPO checked into the JP Resort Hotel, complete with outdoor swimming pools and tennis courts.  We were met the reception by a brass ensemble.  There was just enough time to gather around the pool before a concert of Strauss and Beethoven in the evening.

greeted by brass ensembleIPO OpenQuartetto Piscina