Omg, my pianist is playing the wrong intro!

Omg, my pianist is playing the wrong intro!


norman lebrecht

June 27, 2015

Krzysztof Kaczka was on stage in Moscow, taking a deep breath before his next piece, when the pianist decided to rearrange the programme without telling him.
Watch the page-turner. She’s struggling to hold it together.


  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Good thing the flutist had enough time to take the music out from behind the other! Good move! One thing I’ve always wondered is if a soloist or accompanist had music laid out but a page would be missing?

    • Andrew Condon says:

      I heard a story years ago about this happening once to Norbert Brainin of the Amadeus Qt. Gets to the last page of whatever they are playing, only to find it missing. Without batting an eyelid he plays the missing page from memory!

      • R. James Tobin says:

        The Chiara Quartet has a recording, “Brahms by Heart,” and, if my memory serves me, I witnessed them playing the Mozart “Dissonance Quartet” from memory at the Library of Congress last December 5. I mentioned this to Frank Almond, Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony,and he said that it did not surprise him that members of a quartet would be able to play repertoire from memory.

    • Ed says:

      Remember the Marx Brothers…

  • bratschegirl says:

    The story goes that Zara Nelsova’s first big break came when she was called to substitute at the very last minute for an ailing soloist in the Dvorak concerto. She took the train from NYC up to Buffalo, no time even to talk with the conductor before the downbeat and certainly no rehearsal. She walked out, took her bow, settled back for a long opening tutti’s rest… and the orchestra played the opening chord of Saint-Saens.

  • Tim Walton says:

    I was in Stockholm a few years ago at a concert in a small church.

    A student Quartet, making it’s professional debut, was playing the ‘American’ Quartet (Dvorak).

    They were using scores in loose sheets of paper – dangerous. They got half way through the final movement when the young cellist went to turn a page and ALL his sheets of music scattered all over the floor.

    He didn’t bat an eyelid and played the rest of the piece from memory!

    That’s a good start on a professional career!

  • Kevin C. says:

    Maria Joao Pires had this happen to her once. She showed up expecting to play one Mozart concerto, only to get a nasty shock when at the first open rehearsal the conductor started playing a completely different concerto

  • Pamela Brown says:

    I recall a young soloist long ago in Minnesota (who will remain nameless) who seemed quite sleepy (probably being pushed into too many performances) and who, during a Mozart piano concerto, made an entrance playing a different Mozart piano concerto (in a different key). The conductor (might have been Slatkin) just paused the orchestra and gave the soloist a quizzical look. At the end of the passage, the pianist woke up and looked at the conductor, who then gave him quite a stern look. The conductor continued on with the original concerto and all went smoothly from that point on.

  • Una says:

    They dealt with it very well and in a good humourous way, but the moral of the story – communicate and make sure everyone knows what they’re doing!!

  • Arthur Serating says:

    Flashback to my Juilliard audition in 1967 when the grad-student accompanist began playing the Mozart G Major concerto piano part in g minor.