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Maestro cull: Berlin chief is told to cut back

December 1, 2017 by norman lebrecht

8 comments.


From the Scottish Chamber Orchestra:

We are emailing to inform you that very unfortunately, both our conductor Robin Ticciati and soloist Sir András Schiff are unable to be with us for next week’s performance on Friday 8 December.

Robin has been advised, by the neurosurgeon who has been treating him since his back injury 20 months ago, that in order to ensure the long-term, durable success of his ongoing treatment, he must reduce the number of his engagements at this time.

Ticciati is newly installed as music director of the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester, Berlin.


Comments (8)

  1. Trebles All Round says:

    Clearly this is not the first occasion on which Ticciati has had to cancel, and his ongoing health is paramount, but it does raise issues of judgement on his part on how best to choose which engagements to cancel to ensure minimum fallout. In this case it seems clear to me (see below) that András Schiff has withdrawn because the prospect of being accompanied by Ticciati’s replacement, Joseph Swensen, does not appeal. So here we have a musical house of cards collapsing, much, I suspect, to the disappointment of a loyal audience, and a for once effectively sold out house in Glasgow.

    The rest of the email which I received from SCO reads: “Sir András had been particularly looking forward to working closely with Robin. We hope there will be an opportunity for them to collaborate together with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the future.” I’m not holding my breath now that Ticciati has his feet firmly planted in Berlin.

  2. Cubs Fan says:

    Ticciati seems awfully young to be having these problems. Was his back injury the result of conducting or some other activity? A lot of conductors (Solti!) had back problems from their conducting technique, and certainly working in the pit doesn’t help since your arms are raised high so often. Still, if more conductors would learn to use a baton correctly, like Boult, they wouldn’t stress their arms and backs so much. But then, if you want to be flashy and impress people, Boult’s style was just too restrained and not what the image makers want.

    1. Bruce says:

      I don’t watch conductors much anyway (as any conductor I’ve played for could tell you). Some of them are hard to look at.

      I remember reading 25+ years ago that Ozawa had recurrent tendonitis in his shoulders.

      Watching Dudamel makes my neck hurt.

    2. Max Grimm says:

      While Boult’s restrained style may not be flashy, conducting with a two meter baton might yet impress some image makers enough to advocate for a more Boult-ish approach.

  3. Alexander Platt says:

    Young, over-rated, European conductor, doing too many engagements.

  4. Nick says:

    I find it interesting that in Charles Barbour’s book “Corresponding with Carlos”, Kleiber professes great admiration for Boult’s conducting – and not because of the length of his baton or his placement of the second violins on the right of the stage. Could two conductors have had more different styles?

    As others say, Ticciati should not be having these problems at this early stage in a career. If they do stem from technique, he needs to spend time considerable changing it.

  5. Mike Schachter says:

    How will he manage at Glyndebourne next summer?


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