Dresden disaster: Maestro, 84, is ruled out minutes before concert

Dresden disaster: Maestro, 84, is ruled out minutes before concert


norman lebrecht

January 24, 2016

Tonight’s concert of the Dresden Philharmonic was cancelled at half an hour’s notice, with all the musicians backstage and the audience taking its seats.

It appears that the conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky fell and suffered an injury on the snowy pavements on his way to the hall. No replacement was on standby.

Players, who have informed us of the accident, are particularly distressed, since it occurred at the end of a week of exceptional music making with the venerable Russian conductor.

We wish Gennady a speedy recovery

Gennady Rozhdestvensky



  • Peter Freeman says:

    Let’s hope they reschedule the concert for whenever he has recovered! He conducted my first Manfred Symphony at a BBC Prom (1965?) which was also his Proms debut. UK too, possibly… anyone certain?

  • MacroV says:

    I hope he’ll be ok; a fall like that for a man his age can be deadly.

  • Andrey Boreyko says:

    Wish him best recovery. He is really one of the very last REAL conductors.
    Amazing combination of technic, knowledge, charm, humor, authority.

  • Patricia Varley says:

    I am sorry to hear he had an accident ,
    I wish his full and good recovery soon.
    ut was very understandable to canceled the concert and I wish to all the orchestra to have a wonderful re schedule concert after the Maestro recovery .

  • Herasmus Bedragon says:

    Sad to hear. Where was the assistant or cover conductor?

  • JJC says:

    With all of this ‘global warming’ happening, this is very inconvenient to the narrative.

    • Robert says:

      If it had been colder it probably would not have been so slippery.

      But that would be inconvenient for your narrative.

    • Peter says:

      Are you serious?
      Are you as stupid as Sarah Palin?

      • Gerhard says:

        Having lived in Alaska, I’m sure even Sarah Palin would know that ice and snow are in fact less slippery as long as they are solidly frozen, and get more slippery when they start to melt. So think twice before you call someone stupid.

        • Peter says:

          It’s stupid to not know the difference between weather and climate.

          • Gerhard says:

            Certainly, but you are quite rude again, and also very much beside the point. ‘Colder’ can apply to both.

          • Peter says:

            I do not follow the political correctness cult. I try not to be rude, but sometimes it is called for. We need actually more of those endless amount of people who are idiots but with the fattest opinions, to actually be told they are.

  • Stephen says:

    Even if the recorded sound is not too good, his Sibelius cycle is the most epic, enthralling, at times frightening, version I have ever heard.

    • Daniel F. says:

      His (alas all too few) concerts with the Boston Symphony were unforgettable, and his performances of the The Rite and the Sibelius 2nd remain among the highest lights of my concert-going experience–55 years and counting. In (I believe) 2007, the maestro had a hissy fit when he observed that the posters outside Symphony Hall advertising the concert had his name in smaller print than posters advertising the concerts of other conductors. At the last minute, he refused to go on. Annoying (to say the least) but from first to last, inimitable.

      • Joel stein says:

        His fit was over the fact that his name was smaller than that of his soloist Lynn Harrell.

        • jaypee says:

          Well, “Lynn Harrell” certainly takes less space than “Gennady Rozhdestvensky” on a poster… hence, I guess, the smaller fonts…

        • Daniel F. says:

          Thank you, Joel, for correcting my faulty memory!

          According to Jeremy Eichler’s account in the Boston Globe, “the incident occurred after Rozhdestvensky discovered that his name had been omitted altogether from a list of “Distinguished Conductors” in the BSO’s season brochure. He was also upset that the week’s cello soloist, Lynn Harrell, had been featured in a large photo and given top billing on a concert poster, while his name appeared only in the concert details.”

          The orchestra’s manager, Mark Volpe, actually defended the posters on the basis of “marketing” in that the soloist was better known than the conductor! This is the same management that picked the flashy Nelsons over Vladimir Jurowski. And so it goes– downhill all the way.

  • Jack_Ewing says:

    Conductors are irrelevant. Bach, Mozart and Haydn directed their compositions from the harpsichord or let the first violinist start the music then keep it going. All you need is an ensemble of good musicians who can read a score which is right there, in front of their very eyes. Now these arrogant nobodies (conductors) will have you believe they’re not only essential but more important than the composer.

    And I see many falling for this man-made global warming hoax. I was one of you idiots until I started researching the subject. I suggest you do the same or please just stick to classical music, you’re not qualified to talk about much else.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Well, there is some Music composed after Bach, Mozart, and Haydn.

    • Cubs Fan says:

      You’re right about symphonies of Mozart, Haydn and company: just get a movement started and it can pretty much play on its own. But get to Beethoven and beyond and it’s not possible – the conductor, however much overrated, is essential to navigate the ebb and flow.

      You’re also right about the global warming, er climate change, myth. It’s depressing how many supposedly educated people have fallen for the hype.

    • Stephen says:

      I’m afraid I find “conductors are irrelevant” a rather silly, ill-informed remark. Anyone with ears to hear can tell the difference between a Haydn or Mozart symphony led by a really good conductor and a mediocre one. As to imagining any opera or a Mahler symphony led by the first violinist, if anyone is foolish enough to try, I’ll give them a listen.

    • NYMike says:

      I assume you’re including the 98+% of scientists in your group of people “falling for this man-made global warming hoax.” I guess that 2015 as the warmest since records have been kept is also a hoax.

      Do you have skin in the fossil-fuel industry game?

    • William Safford says:


  • Roman Moiseyev says:

    Great Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky. I wish you a speedy recovery.