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We arrived at the hotel at midnight, beginning a two day visit of morning rehearsals and evening concerts.

Zubin first in line for China

The IPO performed the final concerts of the Shanghai International Arts Festival, part of Expo 2010.

Shanghai International Arts Festival

The adventurous in the orchestra shopped in the afternoon and came back to the concerts with stories of successful bargaining for shirts, dresses, watches and even musical instruments. It’s hard to beat orchestra members at the shouk when Middle-East meets Far-East.

The second concert featured a televised “showcase” ceremony (in Chinese, of course) starring an entourage from the city’s ministry of culture.  As soon as the speeches ended and the Chinese National Anthem was sung the media raced out and Zubin started the concert.

The hotel had free internet in the lobby and after the concert, the IPO opened its own internet café.  It was a pretty comic scene as 40 laptops appeared and musicians busied themselves with calling home by computer, or sending emails.

free internet in the lobby