On the Road, Day 15: Nuts & Bolts

wardrobe 2

New BSO wardrobe trunk. Waist-high, on wheels.

With the final Symphony Hall concert concluded, it was time to pack the wardrobe trunk for the European tour. Unlike bygone days, security restrictions are tight. You’re allowed to pack only what you’ll need to wear for concerts, and on the way home you no longer may stuff the trunk with souvenirs. Customs has the authority to examine every trunk, and sometimes exercises it.

This will be the second international tour with our new trunks. Here’s what our old behemoths, which were as old as time itself, looked like:


Paleolithic BSO wardrobe trunk. No wheels, 250 pounds

You may enjoy reading a nostalgic, tongue-in-cheek story about our former trunks I wrote for Berkshire Magazine: “Well-Traveled Baggage”

I also had to pack my instrument trunk. These days, if you transport a musical instrument overseas, especially if you carry it individually, it requires more paperwork than all your kids’ FAFSA forms put together. One reason is that many old instruments have components of currently banned materials, like elephant ivory on violin bows. So forms have to be filled out stating exactly what those components are and when the instrument was purchased to make sure it was made and you bought it before the bans went into effect. By packing our instruments in the BSO’s official trunks, they take care of all the shipping and paperwork and, if they occur, the headaches. Which sometimes they do. Because different countries have different regulations, the last time we went to Japan all of our instruments were held up in Customs while our management put out an APB on anyone in the Japanese government who could grease the wheels of bureaucracy and get our fiddles to us in time for our concert. We got them in the nick of time, but not without due consternation.

Instrument 1

Trunk #17, ELIAS




Next week the BSO has education concerts, which I’m not involved in. So I get a week off, which I’m going to spend out at our idyllic, little cottage in the woods near Tanglewood. Next Saturday I’ll rejoin the orchestra at Logan Airport to board the flight to Frankfurt, at which point I’ll resume the On the Road blog. Until then, have a good week!



2 thoughts on “On the Road, Day 15: Nuts & Bolts

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