GUEST POST: Natalie Lin – On the Road with the Turnovsky Jubilee Ensemble

Natalie Lin is a kiwi violinist currently studying towards her DMA at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music (Houston, Texas). She won the NZCT Chamber Music Contest with her piano quartet in 2005 and more recently received 6th prize and the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, becoming the first New Zealander in 10 years to be a prizewinner.

She’s on tour as part of the Turnovsky Jubilee Ensemble, and has shared her thoughts on the road…


Turnovsky Ensemble group image

The Turnovsky Jubilee Ensemble finds a stunning photo op on the road between Gisborne and Napier. Clockwise from left: Gillian Ansell (viola), Justine Cormack (violin), Ashley Brown (cello), Bryony Gibson-Cornish (viola), Matthias Balzat (cello), Victoria Jones (cello), Wilma Smith (violin & leader), Victoria Simonsen (cello), Natalie Lin (violin and blogger)

Turnovsky bus tourThe one upside — if there is one — to being prone to queasiness on the road is getting automatic priority seating. Whether it’s that shotgun front seat in the car or the first row on a tour bus, most fellow travellers are more than happy to give up those spaces for people like us with sensitive inner ears. (Let’s face it… everyone benefits from the vehicle staying sickness-free for the duration of travel!)

We are one week into our Turnovsky Jubilee Ensemble tour around New Zealand, and those of us who fit the above description seem to have already claimed the priority seating zone near the front of the bus. (The rest of the group, meanwhile, are probably up to all sorts of trouble-making in the back…) With our eyes fixed forward and our driver Geoff expertly handling every winding road with ease (and there are hours’ worth of those winds!), we’ve had zero mishaps and a very pleasant time on the road. After all, how could we complain with such beautiful views such as these?

Turnovsky bus Natalie LinNatalie Lin lake imageThat final view was just too breathtaking to breeze past, so we decided to take a brief stop (no coffees, op-shopping or toilet visits for this one!) to take a group picture.

Mountains, beach, gorges, rivers and lakes — New Zealand’s got it all. I feel so lucky to be traveling the country, north to south, for this entire month and with these stellar musicians. The above photos are just a few of the snaps taken from the “priority” front row of the bus, on the road between our concert venues in Whangarei, Hamilton, Gisborne and Napier. Next up: New Plymouth, Auckland, Palmerston North then Wellington… and let’s not forget all the South Island either!

We hope you’ll join us at one of concerts when we swing by your town!

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