What Hélène Grimaud did when her orchestra went missing

What Hélène Grimaud did when her orchestra went missing


norman lebrecht

July 24, 2016

The plane carrying the Australian Youth Orchestra was unable to take off for Hamburg in a storm warning yesterday, leaving the French pianist facing a festival audience at Redefin all on her own.

She had been scheduled to play the Brahms D minor concerto, conducted by Manfred Honeck, in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festival.

What to do?

With time ticking out, Hélène called the cellist Jan Vogler who had worked with her on a few CDs, and asked if he could get to the venue for a 6pm start.

Jan could.

It happened so fast, the festival failed to change its website.

Pianist and cellist played a selection of pieces from their CD repertoire. Those who did not wish to stay were offered ticket refunds.




The AYO messages: The tour road was a little bumpy today as cancelled flights, thunderstorms and other circumstances in Germany kept us from reaching Redefin in time for our third European concert…. We are now back on the road, ready to take on our remaining six concerts across Europe, China and at home.





  • Peter says:

    It must have been a plane TO Hamburg unable to fly, because HAM is the airport closest to the venue.