This past month I traveled to Russia to perform as guest timpanist of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. We performed Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (with soloist Kristóf Baráti), and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1. To perform the music of Tchaikovsky with a Russian orchestra in the Tchaikovsky Music Conservatory was a surreal combination.
This trip was my first experience traveling to a non-English speaking country by myself. After 29 hours of travel, I was thrust into a completely different world: one notably filled with the Cyrillic alphabet. Despite my exhaustion and amateur ability to read Russian, I managed to board the correct Aeroexpress train from the SVO airport to Moscow.