My brother Ken and I were very keen to thank our sister Janet for all her sterling efforts in handling the administration of our late sister Wendy’s estate since her sad and sudden passing in July 2017.  Aware of Janet’s love of orchestral music, I contacted Alex Gascoine – violinist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – and asked for his recommendation for a concert that we could attend as a family.

Alex checked the BBC SSO’s itinerary and swiftly highlighted an afternoon performance, ‘Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini’ scheduled for Thursday 18 April, yesterday, at Glasgow City Halls.  The concert was to be recorded for airing on Radio 3 at Glasgow City Halls and feature Nicholas Carter conducting works by Haydn, Rachmaninov and Brahms and marvellous pianist, Vadym Kholodenko.

The complete programme was to be Haydn’s Symphony No. 42, Rachmaninov’s ‘Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini’ and Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No 3 in F major.

I therefore flew from Gatwick yesterday morning to Glasgow in time to meet Janet for lunch and accompany her to the Halls.  Unfortunately, Ken was unable to make the date but sent his very best wishes for an enjoyable afternoon.

We met Alex in the lobby of the Orchestra’s impressive home and he kindly showed us around the building, their offices and spoke of the history of the site.  He then left to join the Orchestra and we found our seats in the main Hall.

Janet enjoyed the programme, especially the central Paganini piece, and we were able to thank Alex once again for his superb hospitality as, along with a number of musicians, we walked together to a local pub after the concert.

Several drinks later – and after much entertaining discussion of the current political situation – Janet and I bade the players farewell and headed to the Village Hotel, where Alex’s daughter Shona works on Reception and he had understandably recommended for our overnight stay.  The Hotel proved ideal and we were enjoyed an excellent dinner and a nightcap in its restaurant and bar.

Janet left relatively early in the morning as she had an appointment in Edinburgh and I took a cab into town and visited the well-stocked Guitar Guitar music shop, hoping to try a Gibson 339.  No luck, alas.  I then strolled around some local sights, bought a tapas lunch,  and took in the shops before catching the bus to the airport and the flight home.  Thanks Janet, Alex and Shona for a perfect 24 hours.


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