Exclusive: Yo Yo Ma fills in for sick orchestral cellist

A correspondent in Vancouver reports:

yo yo ma exchannge
On Friday night (May 1) Yo-Yo Ma filled in for a cellist in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra who threw out his back.

It is not unheard of for Yo-Yo to join the section after he plays the concerto, but in this case, he played in the cello section in the first half of the concert, and then performed the Dvorak Concerto in the second half.

yo yo ma

During the extended ovation, Yo Yo took a selfie with conductor Bramwell Tovey.


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  • Apparently, Kreisler would sometimes play on the back desk of the firsts before performing the concerto item.

    • Supposedly Kreisler also said he would constantly get lost; playing in an orchestra is a different skill than playing solo.

  • I’m reminded of the occasion in Norwich when a bride found out at the last minute that the pianist hired for her wedding was stuck in traffic in London and couldn’t get there. Somebody made a phone call, and a substitute was found, who played all the music for the ceremony. That substitute was … Bramwell Tovey.

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