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One such friend is violist Richard Waugh, who joined the orchestra in 1993. The two men rode together frequently, sharing tales of riding or music or just being outdoors, enjoying the weather. They had talked about long distance cycling, in particular. Consequently, on Sunday, 10 June 2007, Waugh will embark on a two-and-a-half-week long ride from San Diego, California to Savannah, Georgia in honor of his friend. He flew out on Saturday, and will get ready to head out at first light.

Waugh has been training for several months for this endurance ride, which will see him covering approximately 175 miles a day with the anticipation of arriving in Savannah on or about 27 June. He won't be alone; he'll be in company with fifty other cyclists, as part of an annual long ride, this one named the Elite Transcontinental Tour. 'I've never done anything like this before, and I may never do it again', he says, with a sort of chuckle. 'It seems strange not to be on stage for the final orchestra event of the season (a semi-staged Der Rosenkavalier) but it's a huge work. The viola part is more than ninety pages long. When I explained to Franz (Welser-Möst, the music director of the orchestra) what I wanted to do, he agreed to let me off for the week. And, he even made a substantial contribution to the fund.' Waugh continues, bemusement in his voice, 'I went to hear it on Thursday night, but it was really odd not to be on stage.'

A native of Albuquerque, Waugh has been on stage for a good part of the last seventeen years. He first came to Cleveland in 1990, to attend the Cleveland Institute of Music. He didn't quite make it to graduation when he became principal violist of the Indianapolis Symphony in 1992. Not quite a year later, there was an opening in Cleveland, so he returned, and is reasonably settled now, with a wife and daughter.

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Copyright © 10 June 2007 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA


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