What a joy it has all been! The sixth Trasimeno Music Festival was really the best yet, and for sure will be hard to equal in the future. We had fantastic audiences all week, both in quality and numbers. Their silence throughout the concerts was truly remarkable and was commented on by the musicians. They had come to listen and weren’t going to miss any of it. We had people from all over the world—Canada, USA (including a group from Spivey Hall, Atlanta), Australia, the UK, Japan, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and more Italians than ever before which pleased me. My fellow artists were all fantastic, and I was so happy not only performing along with them, but listening to them from the audience. The cellist Pieter Wispelwey (with me in the photo) performed in four of the seven concerts, playing Bach, Schubert, Haydn, and Chopin (his Chopin Sonata was to me a thing of great beauty and made all the long hours learning it worthwhile). The Quartetto di Cremona, virtually the only string quartet in the country that is making a name for themselves outside of Italy, outdid themselves in two concerts, with an especially beautiful “Death and the Maiden” Quartet by Schubert. Soprano Ilona Domnich gave a charming rendition of some Chopin songs in the final evening (no rain at all this year, so we were able to enjoy the magic of the courtyard of the Castle of the Knights of Malta for all the chamber concerts). Conductor Hannu Lintu galvanized the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova in a performance of Beethoven’s Second Symphony that I, for one, will long remember. It combined terrific energy and passion with a beautiful elegance in the Larghetto. If our work together on Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto is an indication of how easy it is to combine our musical personalities, then the many engagements we have together over the next few years will all be highlights for me. In Gubbio I conducted the orchestra, led by the indefatigable Carlo Fabiano, myself in two Mozart Concertos, not an easy thing to do with a “real” conductor sitting in the audience. They are excellent musicians who come from all over Italy (including the first oboist from La Scala). Our literary guest was Vikram Seth, interviewed (as was Ian McEwan last year) by Canadian broadcaster Eric Friesen. I regret that I didn’t have time at home to accompany him in some Schubert songs as he had requested. Every minute of my time was taken up, and I hardly slept all week. Rehearsals, concerts, meeting fans, running a restaurant at home for the musicians (11 for lunch; six for dinner)….there was scarcely a moment to breathe. But half the fun of such a festival is spending time with my colleagues and meeting the public. I must thank my whole staff and personal assistants who also outdid themselves this year. There are only a few of us, but each one is essential and without them nothing would happen. I haven’t given a thought to next year’s programme yet. First I have to see the results of this year. But fingers crossed that we can go on and have another exceptional week of music in this most beautiful part of Italy. And a huge thank you to all who donated to become a Friend of the festival. Your support made it possible.