What a week for all of us in Argentina, travelling through Buenos Aires, Bariloche, and finally Neuquén, where most of our week was spent working with Maestro Tolcachir and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Neuquén!
Our first day of the tour was spent wandering through the city of Buenos Aires upon landing, exploring such sights as Caminito Street, La Recoleta cemetery, and the Plaza de Mayo. We also sampled a taste of classic Argentinian cuisine at one of the many parrillas, or steakhouses, in the city.
Our brief stay in the village of Bariloche involved a short hike up Cerro Campanario, where we took in breathtaking panoramic views of the majestic Andes Mountains. We also explored the village's many shops and cafés, particularly the famous chocolate shops of Mitre Street (from which we certainly left with heavier stomachs and lighter wallets!)
Most of our stay was in the city of Neuquén, where we collaborated with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Neuquén. Aside from our daily morning rehearsals, we also visited a local winery, enjoyed maté along the Limay River, ate our way through countless empanada shops, and even played a friendly game of soccer against their orchestra members! You can even watch a video here of our sold-out concert on April 7 in the city of Neuquén, courtesy of the Fundación Banco Provincia del Neuquén (BPN)! The event was called “Nueva York & Neuquén en Concierto,” featuring the two combined orchestras' 120 musicians.
Overall, Argentina was truly an unforgettable experience for our orchestra growing closer and understanding Mahler to a much deeper level, as well as for the wonderful people we met throughout our travels and had to pleasure of working with in Neuquén. The Cornell Orchestras cannot thank enough Maestro Andrés Tolcachir, the Orquesta Sinfónica del Neuquén, the Fundación Banco Provincia del Neuquén, the Governor of the Province of Neuquén, and our warm and welcoming audiences in Argentina! Again, we would like to thank our supporters for making this once-in-a-lifetime experience so unforgettable! Thank you for a wonderful week!
1. From left to right: Maestro Andrés Tolcachir of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Neuquén, Conductor Chris Younghoon Kim of the Cornell Orchestras, Pablo Bongiovani of the presenting Fundación Banco Provincia del Neuquén (BPN), and Minister of Culture of the City of Neuquén Omar Gutiérrez.
2. Members of the Cornell Orchestras posed with a sign in beautiful Neuquén!
3. The combined orchestra turned to smile for a group picture onstage on concert night in Neuquén on April 7, featuring a packed house at the Cine Teatro Español. The concert was televised as well, and BPN also provided additional outdoor audience seating at el Monumento al Gral.