Just in from a correspondent in Dallas:
Assistant conductor Karina Canellakis stepped in at the last minute tonight to lead the Dallas Symphony in Shostakovich’s massive ‘Leningrad’ Symphony after music director Jaap van Zweden had to cancel – literally 20 minutes before curtain – in order catch a plane to Amsterdam and attend to a family medical emergency.
The performance was spectacular! Van Zweden prepared the orchestra himself in rehearsals this week, so Canellakis probably hadn’t stepped in front of the orchestra at all until tonight’s performance. But she navigated a big, sprawling symphony loaded with frequent meter changes and did it with clear, precise, sweeping command as if she’d been living with this music for years.
Van Zweden is the next music director of the New York Philharmonic.