Thursday, March 17, 2011: Welcome Home, Philharmonic

About two-thirds of the members of The Czech Philharmonic were expected to return on Thursday from Japan by special flights to the Czech Republic.

According to the Czech Press Agency and the website of The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, 105 people from the orchestra were on a performance tour of Japan this past week. On March 11, the day of the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis, the group was in the Fukuoka area, a safe and stable part of the country.

The Czech government was able to organize a military flight home Wednesday for 41 of the members — 11 women and 30 additional people — which was scheduled to arrive at a military airport in Prague at 4:30 am local Prague time Thursday, March 17.

The orchestra’s remaining 64 members are safely housed in a Crowne Plaza hotel in Kanazawa and will fly out from Nagoya no later than Sunday, March 20, according to the orchestra’s website.

Also, the Philharmonic’s Japanese tour organization, the Fuji Agency, confirmed the orchestra’s concerts for March 16 in Kanazawa and March 17 in Nagoya; but concerts scheduled for March 15, 18, and 19 have been cancelled.

The concert March 18 was to have been played in Sendai, one of the most seriously damaged cities. oo

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Help Japan poster for by Jordi van de Bovenkamp

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