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Maestro!
Maestro!
Ronny Blaschke

PRAGUE - A few minutes before the concert starts, Riccardo Sahiti says he can’t believe all this is real, that it’s not a dream. He’s standing in the ornate conductor’s room of the Rudolfinum in Prague – one of Europe’s premier concert halls. All around him are photographs of his idols – conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Leonard Bernstein.

Sahiti is 51 years old but he’s as nervous as a schoolboy facing exams. He walks over to the piano, closes his eyes, plays the first few notes of the piece he’s about to conduct. His wife comes over to smooth out his full black hair. There’s a knock on the heavy wooden door, and when it opens the loud buzz of the audience chatting in the hall fills the room. Sahiti adjusts his coat jacket one last time, kisses his wife on the cheek, and heads for the conductor’s podium.

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Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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