Hirono Oka, violin

The first of 4 tours was in 1985-86 before she joined the Philadelphia Orchestra, which has a complement of about twenty Marlboro artists

Participating in The Marlboro Music Festival was my long time dream and I was so excited and honored to take part in the tours during the 1985-86, 86-87, 87-88 and 89-90 seasons as well as the 35th and 40th anniversary concerts.

Of course every tour was special and rewarding, but I must say that my first tour was the most memorable. I was the kid in a group with Michael Parloff, Steve Tenenbom, Peter Wiley, Marvis-marvelous-Martin,  Joe Genualdi and Lydia Artymiw. Our tour took place on the West Coast. We rented cars and drove everywhere except out of Reno where it was snowing. It was not safe to drive through the mountains! The first thing we did after checking in to every hotel was to look in the Yellow Pages ( this was before the internet days, you know…) and call restaurants asking if they had artichokes on the menu. I had never had artichokes before and was told that we could not get them on the East Coast. Well, when I came back from the tour I found them in a nearby supermarket, but they never tasted as good as the ones I had with my colleagues out West!

My group in 87-88 and 89-90 was with Ulrike-Anima Mathe, Christof Huebner, Siegfried (Siggy) Palm and Daniel McKelway. Two Germans and an Austrian. Our first language during rehearsals was German. I did not speak any German but by the end of our first Mozart Clarinet Quintet rehearsal, I knew what “nicht zusammen” meant (not together)!

Every tour and anniversary concert I took part in was a special experience in every way. I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful music making and for their support and friendship!

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