When my fellow Northwestern University students, Keryn, Zack, and I (Bridget Rodino) arrived in Moscow, we were greeted by some familiar faces, which included Cydne, Matt, Professor Weil, and his wife, Vivian Weil. Alas, Matt Honegger’s trip was nearing its end. I had never been out of the United States, so Matt had a lot of great suggestions and advice. One of his best pieces of advice was to “approach as many situations as possible with a sense of humor.” It made being in a foreign country easier to adapt to. With our small knowledge of Cyrillic, Matt quizzed us on the various portraits of composers that line the inside walls of Tchaikovsky Hall. His wealth of knowledge amazed us; he gave us a wonderful introduction to Russia as we boarded the train and helped our immersion into the Easter Festival Tour experience.
While eating dinner, Maestro Gergiev stopped by our table to say hello. He was so friendly, welcoming, and warm.