Though it gave my heart a wrench not to be with my orchestra for such a special concert, I was off on a different sort of tour.
I had embraced the opportunity to travel in Palestine and Jordan for two weeks with an inimitable group called the Choir of London. Composed of some extraordinarily talented singers, this is not just any old choir. Instead, they prefer to describe themselves as a flexible community of musicians who create change.
"Flexible" meant that I should be ready for anything, I found out. They define change, in this desperately contested part of the world, as "helping Palestinian musicians to take their place on the world stage". So, the Choir of London provides musical and educational opportunities for young musicians in Palestine, as a form of cultural protest against war and division. And I was there with my violin to join in.
The Choir of London have made a specialism of enterprising musical adventures. Having toured and worked in the Middle East since 2003, their project for 2013 was to organise and present a brand new Palestine Choral Festival. They gathered choirs like other people collect stamps - 26 Palestinian choirs and five international ones, if you're counting - and sometimes all of them were on stage at once. Some of them danced, some were in costume. Some sang Faure's Requiem, some sang Palestinian folk songs, some sang S-Club 7.
On other days, there were singing workshops for Palestinian schoolchildren, conducted outdoors because of the large numbers. There were "side by side" concerts in Jerusalem, where I and fellow professional European musicians sat next to and coached young Palestinian musicians in a performance of the music of Britten's St Nicolas, with our heavenly British tenor Allan Clayton in the title role.
In the event, not as many young Palestinian musicians were able to join us as we expected. After all their rehearsals and hard work, on the concert day, two of our talented kids from Palestine were turned back at the West Bank security fence by Israeli officials and denied their chance play music with us.
Next on my tour itinerary was Blessed Cecilia, a piece that combined music by Britten with extracts from the diaries of Palestinian political prisoners. It was inspired by the story of St Cecilia, patron saint of music, who refused to die when walled up by the Romans and kept herself alive by singing. Performed by six singers and a mixed instrumental ensemble, this opera was devised by Andy Staples, narrated by Sam West, and featured Jordanian soprano Dima Bawab. We took this show on the road from Bethlehem to Ramallah, and into Jordan, as news was breaking of Sarin gas in Syria. There were shootings too, in Ramallah, which led to further concerts there being cancelled.
We ploughed on, and soon I found myself in Jordan, performing amid the ancient and stunning ruins high above Amman, at the Amman Citadel Festival.
Finally, there came a moment towards the end of the tour when our Choir of London met, in two halves, on the banks of the River Jordan.
Some of us were still on the Jordanian side, and the others on the Israeli bank. The border guard stood behind us with his gun, shifting uncomfortably as this strange group of visitors began to sing antiphonal Palestrina to each other across the river. And, for a few moments, two hostile borders were united in one musical performance.