The last concert of the 2009 South America Tour took place at the Arena de Santiago with an audience of 12,000.

Have you ever heard 12,000 people on their feet and cheering?  That’s enough people to fill the Hechal Hatarbut five times!  Already with the singing of the Chilean Anthem the crowd was warming up, but by the time we were playing our encores, Zubin had them on their feet shouting for more.

Standing ovation of 12,000     

Trumpet soloist YigaelIt was a festive program of Beethoven Seventh Symphony, Fledermaus Overture, Haydn Trumpet Concerto (IPO soloist Yigael Meltzer), “Gracias a la Vida” by Chile’s own Violeta Parra and other hits by the Strauss Family; “Emporer Waltz”, “No Brakes Polka” and “Thunder and Lightening.”    The IPO’s program opened Chile’s celebrations of 200 years of independence.  It was an incredibly rewarding way to finish the tour. 

rappeling from the ceiling at the ArenaThe “Arena” is so large and preparations so meticulous, that a youth orchestra was brought-in the day before to rehearse and try-out our sound system, a full hour break between the rehearsal and concert was needed to facilitate the seating of the audience (more sandwiches for the IPO) and the light crew focused its “spots” by rappelling down ropes from the ceiling. 

At the acoustic rehearsal before the concert Zubin and the IPO management thanked impresario Roberto Ring and his staff who managed the tour, the guest musicians who joined the IPO for the 4 weeks and the many orchestra members who took on additional tasks, like suitcase crew and the travel committee.  

It’s hard to believe that the month of touring is coming to a close.  In its 18 concerts in 7 cities, the IPO reached an audience of between 50 and 60 thousand people.  South America, with its developing economies and societies was a fascinating lesson in the hopes and the accomplishments of people and nations. Many IPO members have seen that process over the years and remember military dictatorships, depressing poverty and hyper-inflation, warnings not to mention civil rights, and crime on the streets.  South America of 2009 hints of new things; people enjoying a better life with real hope for the future.