The IPO left Argentina and flew over the snow covered Andes to Chile.  All went smoothly and most of the orchestra members were already seated in the bus for the hotel in Santiago, but we just waited. Half an hour, 45 minutes, and we were still missing 12 players!  Two apples, one banana, a tangerine and a hand carved pencil were among the items discovered in the x-ray search and our colleagues had been detained at customs for one of the most serious Chilean crimes: bringing fruit into the country!  They were to be tried on the spot.

For their crimes there is a compulsory fine of $300 and an additional fine for every kilo of fruit.  To the rescue came Enrique Maltz, Spanish speaking IPO cellist and now, amateur lawyer.  Enrique pleaded for compassion, accused the Chilean head of customs of being “insensitive” to well-intending musicians who are already 3 weeks away from home and whose only languages are Hebrew and Russian. He claimed that they had no way of understanding the warnings in Spanish and English on the airplane. 


Nevertheless, customs didn’t forgo the trials, and three at a time, they were brought before a judge to prove their ignorance of the law.  It was a tense scene for Enrique, (“Speak only Hebrew!!!”)  but he succeeded in releasing the IPO-Dozen with stern reprimands.

Teatro Municipal

Teatro Municipal

On Thursday evening, the orchestra played its last Mahler Ninth Symphony at the beautiful Teatro Municipal, and Friday was a day-off.  The orchestra split up into several groups; one group to the University for a morning of master classes, one group for a city tour, another group for a day of skiing and the last group up into the mountains by mini-bus with a guide.

Tomorrow is the last concert of the tour and 12,000 people are expected.
touring the mountains