Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paying Homage to Composers: Cemeteries of Paris, Vienna & Venice

Père-Lachaise Cemetery (Paris, France)

My reason for visiting the Père-Lachaise Cemetery was to visit the "grandfathers of flute playing" from the Conservatoire de Paris. Since they are mostly only famous in the flute world, and I didn't bother to look their gravesites up ahead of time, I only found one: Philippe Gaubert. He is in a family tomb in the Père-Lachaise. 

Georges Enesco, though a violinist, wrote many French Conservatory flute pieces and I stumbled upon his grave on the way to finding Bizet. I was so excited with this surprise that I jumped up and down and several Parisians came by to see who I had found and looked very puzzled when they had no idea who this man was. 

The great opera composers Bizet and Rossini were honored with flowers...

& my piccolo even got to rest with Rossini for a moment. 

Isola di San Michele (Venice, Italy)

I visited Stravinsky's grave in the summer of 2012 when I was staying in Austria. Venice was a short weekend trip, and I am dying to go back. The Isola di San Michele is the most beautiful cemetery I have ever been to. There is something truly magical about it. I could have spent all day there. Stravinsky is buried between his wife, Vera, and his collaborator, Sergei Diaghilev. There were many flowers, pointe shoes and notes to the composer and to the founder of Ballets Russes.   

Zentralfriedhof (Vienna, Austria)

I visited the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna in the summer 2012 when I was staying nearby in Graz. Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert are all buried in the same circle with a monument to Mozart in the middle (since he was buried in an unmarked grave). 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Paris: Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Visiting the Père-Lachaise Cemetery was my favorite experience in Paris. It was beautiful and peaceful, and I even made a new friend - Monsieur Chat.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Paris: Luxembourg Gardens

I had a stopover in Paris on the way back from Helsinki, so I only had about six hours to roam this famous city that I was visiting for the first time. A friend of mine told me that the Luxembourg Gardens were a must-see, and luckily they were just a 15 minute walk from my hotel, so it was the first place I headed off to.
It was a Sunday morning, so everyone in Paris that was out and about was enjoying their leisure time. There were lots of joggers and even several groups of people doing tai chi in the park. I found the boats in the fountain quite picturesque. I quickly realized that what fascinated me the most about Paris was the people rather than the scenery. These colorful little boats brightened up this dreary Sunday morning.

Lahti: Sibelius Hall

Lahti is a city about an hour north of Helsinki along the coast of lake Vesijärvi. I wish I had taken more photos when I was there, but I was quite preoccupied! This is the Sibelius Hall and home of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. It is right on the water, which you can see through the glass atrium lobby. Lahti is the Finnish word for "bay."
I will call this city home starting in July! I cannot wait. It is the perfect size (population of about 100k), so it has everything you could ever need but is not too overwhelming.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Helsinki Cathedral in the morning 

Helsinki Cathedral before sunset

Uspenski Cathedral exterior

Uspenski Cathedral interior


I fell in love with Helsinki the moment I stepped off the bus from the airport. I arrived at night, and the city was full of life. During the day everything was bright and crisp in the late winter sun. I got to stay only a few days, but I can't wait to return in July.