29. December 2010 · Comments Off on Stormy Changes · Categories: Ramble, Read Online

Or something.

Sorry … just trying to be like the newspapers that have those incredibly annoying witty headlines, you know?

On Tuesday night the conductor Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic did perform, however, and a surprisingly large audience was in the hall. But the scheduled program, intended as a showcase for individual players, was almost completely changed.

Mr. Kernis’s new piece, “a Voice, a Messenger,” a concerto written for Philip Smith, the Philharmonic’s principal trumpeter, was canceled, to be rescheduled for a future program, possibly this season, a spokesman for the orchestra said. The New York premiere of Christopher Rouse’s 2004 Oboe Concerto, which was to have featured Liang Wang, the orchestra’s principal oboist, was another casualty, along with Hindemith’s Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, a showcase for the principal horn player Philip Myers, last performed by the Philharmonic in 2000.

Vivaldi’s Concerto in B minor for Four Violins, featuring stellar Philharmonic soloists, was played as planned, along with Ravel’s “Bolero,” which ended the program. But to fill out the remainder, Mr. Gilbert dipped into a reserve of familiar works, including Sibelius’s “Valse Triste,” Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” the Polonaise from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” and, talk about familiar, selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.” An adventure in programming became a run-through of the tried and true.

That’s quite a change. I’m sure I would have been disappointed, had I bought tickets. But what can ya do? Stuff happens.

Here is the full article. (Article no longer available.)

Very rarely have I been involved with a concert that has a program change so late in the game. I can think of only one, in fact, where things changed at nearly the last moment due to a rather tragic accident that required a last minute conductor (and thus, program) change. I was music librarian at the time, and that can really be — and was — a nightmare for librarians! (I still have orchestra librarian nightmares now and then, believe it or not.)

We did have to cancel a Nutcracker one year, due to a power outage. I can’t recall if it was weather related or not. Another time the stage manager — my husband! Dan was stage manager of the symphony for a while — once had to quickly set up stand lights because we had a power outage in the hall and there was a generator that would allow for stand lights only. While he worked Richard Stolzman went out on stage on his own and played the Stravinsky unaccompanied work for clarinet. By memory. In the dark. When we had an earthquake during a concert (Bruckner, I believe, was being played) and some audience members raced out of the balcony, but the orchestra and conductor carried on. And we once had a choir member go down (face first, if I heard correctly) during something and the conductor just kept going as they dragged her off, which was probably very disconcerting (hmmm … pun intended?) to the audience.

Ah, tales of the stage and pit. Someday it would be fun to compile all of these … getting my colleagues together we could probably write quite the book!

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