Stricken Spanish conductor may have pneumonia

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who suffered a dizzy spell on Friday during a concert in Washington D. C., is under medical care for high fever and symptoms of pneumonia.

Frühbeck, 80, was replaced in Saturday’s repeat concert by National Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl.

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Ankush writes: Last night I had the privilege of stepping in for Maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at the National Symphony Orchestra after he was stricken with a high fever. I wish it was under better circumstances, but I wanted to take this moment to wish Maestro a speedy recovery and also give my colleagues at the NSO a heartfelt thank you for their support, musicianship, and kindness last night. It has been an amazing week with Frühbeck, and a truly emotional one as well, which makes me all the more grateful for all the love and positive energy I was feeling from you all during the show. Bravo to the orchestra and also to my new favorite soloists Kelly O’Conner and Daniil Trifonov!

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  • One hopes for Maestro de Burgho’s full and speedy recovery. Thankfully, we are not (yet) hearing a call to boycott Danil Trifonov, the marvelous young pianist on the program, merely because he comes from Russia and could thereby be associated with the “demon de jour”, el Presidente Putin, or because 93% of his ethnic countrymen have just endorsed Crimean secession.

    • He’s also smart enough to keep his mouth shut. You will notice in interviews, the questions are always music-related… possibly because he manages to project some sort of artistic seriousness?

    • I have the happiest memories of my collaboration with Maestro de Burgos many years ago and wish him a speedy recovery. I have not already said this. I’m saying it now.

      David Wilde

  • I have a delightful memory of the conductor when I was an undergraduate in Dallas, many moons ago. (Actually, more than one memory. Although the DSO was going through a mediocre patch under Ansel Brusilow, student tickets were $1.00 [!], which fit my budget.) Maestro de Burgos was guest-conducting. During Beethoven’s 8th, he dropped his baton. Without missing a beat–literally and figuratively–he bent down, swept up his baton, and kept going. He did it was almost balletic grace. My much-younger-than-they-are-now eyes watched this with amazement, and I might still be amazed if I saw a conductor do something so nonchalantly.

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