Travel

Top Cellist Steven Isserlis Prevented from Boarding Flight with Cello

Reposted from Classic FM. A nightmare mix-up at the check-in desk meant that Steven Isserlis (and his cello) completely missed his flight—the last one that day… Last night, British cellist Steven Isserlis joined the growing list of cellists and other instrumentalists who have had problems checking in their instruments onto flights:   Isserlis shared the whole nightmare story on his Facebook page, from the first heart-sinking moments of doubt "Have you paid for the cello seat?" to the dash across Heathrow to catch an alternative flight to a different city entirely. Here's the story in all its painful detail [retrieved from Mr. Isserlis' Facebook page]: "My latest adventure - courtesy of KLM... Now, I’d been planning to present another musical rant in the near future, and was already vaguely planning it [...]

By |2017-09-15T02:09:24+00:00July 19th, 2017|Categories: News, Cello Travel|Tags: , , , |

Petition to Change British Airway’s Instrument Baggage Policy

Reprinted from The Violin Channel on 6-11-2016 A change.org petition has been launched today calling for British Airways to change their instrument baggage policy – following a June 4th incident at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport where Dunedin Consort Concertmaster, Cecilia Bernardini was refused entry inflight with her 18th Century violin and case. ‘This is unacceptable behavior by the BA staff,” the petition reads, “ … while of course we musicians understand the many stresses associated with working at an airport desk, we believe that BA needs to understand that the instruments we carry around are not just the tools of our trade but also priceless works of art.’ “I call on BA to institute a policy to clearly allow musical instruments to be carried on as hand luggage – otherwise musicians [...]

Air Travel with Musical Instruments: Final Ruling!

Reposted from BMI News. As of March 6, 2015, it’s official and no longer at the discretion of the various airlines. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, musicians who board planes must be allowed to carry on their instruments provided they fit in the overhead bin. If this space isn’t large enough, the musician is also permitted to purchase a second seat in which to stow their musical companion. One caveat: the airlines don’t have to prioritize musical instruments ahead of any other carry-on luggage, so if the bins are full, you’ll still have to check your instrument at the gate. To remedy this, the DoT suggests that musicians may want to pay the airline’s fee for priority boarding to ensure that there will be room for their gear. [...]

By |2017-10-30T04:58:34+00:00March 19th, 2015|Categories: Cello Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Dave — by Arnold Steinhardt

David Soyer, cellist and founding member of the Guarneri String Quartet, passed away on February 26, 2010—one day after his 86th birthday. Michael Tree, violist, and John Dalley and I, violinists, the other founding members, played in the quartet with Dave for almost forty years and we knew him for close to fifty. Peter Wiley, a former cello student of Dave’s and his successor in the Guarneri Quartet, has known him for easily forty years. Given the close musical and personal relationship that we had with Dave stretching over decades, it is hard to believe that he is no longer with us. Dave and I first met at the Marlboro Music School—quite literally at a rehearsal for Brahms B Major Piano Trio. In the course of that two-hour rehearsal, I [...]

Enharmonically Equivalent: Greetings from Kingston! — by Avery Waite

What a month is has been! It has been an absolute whirlwind of teaching, cultural discoveries, new friends, new landscapes and rainy October downpours. Despite the consuming teaching schedule, I've been able to absorb different aspects of Jamaica bit by bit. From the breathtaking views of mountainous junglescapes, to stunning sunsets, to torrential thunderstorms, the natural beauty is both staggeringly vivid and refreshingly wild. But, it's a place of extremes and contradictions. The downtown area in which I teach five days a week is definitely tough and worlds away from the well-guarded mansions that dot the mountain-sides above the city. One of the schools, St. Andrews Technical High School, is bordered by a maximum security prison and several violent ghettos. There is a constant turf war in these neighborhoods as rival gang-lords called "dons" [...]

Victory of the Campaign ‘Fair Treatment for Musicians Traveling on Planes with Their Instruments’

Dear signatories of the FIM petition, This message is to thank you for supporting our campaign 'Fair treatment for musicians traveling on planes with their instruments'. A draft amended regulation has been published by the EU Commission on March 20th, 2013, which includes specific provisions about musical instruments carried on planes, which is exactly what our petition was about (you can access the full document here: http://www.tinyurl.com/ctmddxe and go directly to page 28, article 6e). Of course, there is still some work to be done in order to make sure that the EU Parliament supports - or even improves - the Commission's proposal. But this is already a big success for all of us. I wish to extend our thanks to the EU Commissions' officials who have been carefully listening [...]

Amtrak Charging for Cellos? – by Paul Katz

Amtrak Charging for Cellos? - by Paul Katz The joys of a musical touring career continue! An Amtrak official recently stopped me from boarding a train to Boston in New York's Penn Station, telling me that I must buy a seat for my cello!" I've been traveling Amtrak for 50 years and never once have I had to pay for the cello," I protested. "I don't make the rules, and I don't know what trains you've been riding, but it's on our website, so there is no way you can get on until you get a ticket." The train was leaving in 15 minutes, so what the hell - furious and furiously, I ran to the ticket window and bought a second seat! But later I checked Amtrak's website and discovered [...]

Top Cellist’s Bow is Damaged by US Airport Security

Here is the latest travel outrage! Personally, I have never let a security agent handle my instrument and have developed a standard speech that so far, has always worked: "Sorry sir/madam, this instrument is extremely valuable and fragile and that is why I don't check it in baggage. I'm glad to open and close the case for you and let you inspect it thoroughly. But I will hold the instrument for you. If you need to touch the wood, please take off your ring, and be careful your fingernails don't scratch the varnish." That seems to impress them enough that they behave! -Paul Katz Top Cellist's Bow is Damaged: Alban Gerhardt Calls Airport Security Staff "Brutal and Careless". Reprinted from The Strad - Friday, 08 February 2013 Photo: courtesy [...]

Orchestra: A Love Story — by Martha Baldwin

Solo playing, chamber music, orchestra, teaching—I loved them all in college but at some point, we all must start to narrow our focus and work to establish a career that is dominated by one or two of these.  I think the most often over-looked aspect of choosing what direction to take your musical talents (insert LeBron goes to Miami joke here), is thoughtful consideration of the daily life. Happiness in life and career is so often not determined by money or status but by how closely our lives conform to our personal ideals and individual quirks. Young cellists often ask me “Why did you choose to play in an orchestra?” This is my answer. I’m a planner. I am happiest with a stable structured day with a decent amount of routine [...]

“Musician’s Worst Nightmare:” Vintage Gibson Guitar Mangled by Airline Baggage Handlers

Excerpted from Yahoo! News By Dylan Stableford It was a musician's worst nightmare. The guitar case for a 1965 Gibson ES-335 is seen stuck in a Delta gate. (Dave Schneider/Facebook)   At least that's how Dave Schneider, guitarist and singer for Hanukkah-themed rock band The LeeVees, described it when his guitar—a 1965 Gibson ES-335—got jammed in an elevator by baggage handlers at a Detroit airport. Schneider was traveling with fellow LeeVees guitarist Adam Gardner from Portland, Maine, to St. Petersburg, Fla., for a gig last month at a conservative temple when their flight was diverted to Rochester, N.Y., due to bad weather, causing them to miss their connection in Philadelphia, Pa. They then drove to Buffalo, N.Y., to hop on a plane destined for Detroit, Mich., where they [...]

Cello Is My Co-Pilot (Part 2) — by Jeffrey Zeigler

I am, of course, a cellist writing to other cellists. So discussing the torment that we all have to go through when we travel with our instruments is, naturally, preaching to the choir. In fact, I wrote a blog post here on CelloBello a few years ago on the topic hoping to give some helpful tips to cellists (Cello Is My Co-Pilot). And in addition to my post, there are quite a few individuals that have written many extremely helpful articles and blogs geared at helping cellists all over the world deal with the hassles of travel. The information is definitely out there to know the basic guidelines that should be followed in order to handle pretty much 99% of the situations that one will face during air travel. So [...]

By |2017-10-30T05:19:02+00:00November 1st, 2012|Categories: Cello Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Travails of Travel with a Cello

Airlines can be sticky about these instruments, no matter how rare and valuable (Excerpted with permission from OttawaCitizen.com) Don’t tell Pinchas Zukerman, but Amanda Forsyth has another man in her life. His name is Carlo. He’s Italian, 300 years old, about four feet tall and made of wood. On second thought, Zukerman has probably met this guy. He lives in a special carbon fibre case in the home he shares with Forsyth. Carlo is, after all, a cello and a very expensive one at that, having been made by Carlo Giuseppe Testore in 1699 and being worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. That all makes Forsyth pretty protective of old Carlo, her nickname for her instrument. “He’s my other husband,” she says. “Whenever I go to Italy, I always open [...]

Teaching at Cello: An American Experience — by Mark Summer

As a founding member of the Turtle Island Quartet, I am grateful to Paul Katz for asking me to contribute to CelloBello. As a conservatory-trained, improvising cellist, I hope I can bring a unique perspective to this forum with thoughts on performing, teaching, and traveling with my cello. This past summer I enjoyed five days of intensely rewarding teaching and performing at the summer music program, Cello: An American Experience. The program attracted 18 young cellists from around the country, and is held at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, 44 miles south of Minneapolis. Left to right: Avery Johnson and Mark Summer My introduction to Cello: An American Experience began with a Facebook message sent to me from the director, and my old colleague, Anna Clift. Anna [...]

Best Public Response Letters to WestJet Bumping the Cello

I want to thank the 200 or so people who have emailed me in support of my dispute with WestJet Airlines and I apologize if your comments were not used below. Don’t want this blog to be too, too long! Only 1 email was critical of me and I include it below. The responses are worth reading…illuminating, useful…and a couple are  hilarious! -Paul Katz […]

Bumping the Cello: An Exchange Between WestJet’s Robert Barron and Paul Katz

Shortly after my "Airline Nightmare" story appeared in the Boston Globe, WestJet representative Robert Barron wrote a letter of explanation to the Globe.  It is reprinted here, with my personal reactions injected. – PK Robert Barron - West Jet Customer Service Agent: First of all, I'd like to say to Mr. Katz that I'm sorry he had such an unpleasant experience flying with us. All of us at WestJet are very proud of our company and its caring culture so we take it personally when we hear people are unhappy with us. The second-last thing I would want to do is cause a guest any upset, but the very last thing I want to do is to jeopardize anyone's safety. While many airlines do permit musical instruments to fly in the cabin, [...]