Just in: Martha Argerich cancels Salzburg

Just in: Martha Argerich cancels Salzburg


norman lebrecht

August 11, 2016

She had been playing in Argentina with Daniel Barenboim and his West-East Divan orchestra, but the great pianist does not feel well enough to perform at the summit festival.

Barenboim will play the concerto in her place, conducting from the keyboard. He will play Mozart K595 instead of the scheduled Liszt concerto.

barenboim argerich


  • Tristan says:

    I am afraid she seems to dislike the boring Salzburg Festival audience as she was just performing in Southern France at a very low key Festival and apparently she was wonderful

    • Argerichnews says:

      Actually, she just gave 3 concerts in Buenos Aires, where she played the Liszt E flat for the first time in 12 years. She talked to the press there, and she said she wasn’t feeling well at all. Apparently, she was suffering from a fever already during those concerts.

  • V.Lind says:

    This woman may suffer from the world’s most unfortunate ill-health (or the world’s most convenient) but if there is one headline I am sick of reading it is the one that starts “Martha Argerich Cancels…”

    Poor old Australia. Likely to be let down again.

    Never mind. Ask Jan Lisiecki — he has stepped in for her before. And he turns up.

    • kicky says:

      just do not read it to avoid becoming sick!

    • ED says:

      To be fair, she’s in her 70s. I’m not nearly there, but I don’t imagine i’ll be doing a huge amount when I’m her age – certainly not the travel/performance schedule she undertakes. This comes up as headlines because it’s Argerich (the fuss made with most other pianists never tends to be as great), and she actually does show at most of her concerts. Of course she’s canceled on me a couple times… Ultimately, if you’re booking for Argerich, you know there’s a chance she will cancel and that’s a risk you take. If people don’t like it, there’s the option of simply not booking – makes it easier for the rest of us to get hold of tickets! 🙂

      • Ellingtonia says:

        Why are these artist indulged at every whim. They bookers should just announce after a cancellation that she will never be engaged again. And if she is “too old at 70+” tell her to stop taking the bloody bookings and letting people down………….again!
        But I suspect the lapdogs will soon be on making excuses for such a “remarkable musician”……………

        • V.Lind says:

          I’m inclined to agree. Boris Berezovsky developed a “cold” twice running — two years apart — before turning up for a particular gig in Canada, which of course he cancelled in both cases. He was given the benefit of the doubt the first time, but he will never be asked again. Not like losing Argerich, I suppose, but the right thing to do. If you consider an engagement dispensable (and I do not suggest Argerich thought that of Salzburg..or…or…) don’t accept it. The inconvenience to others and the disappointment to fans is very great.

          How likely is this frail woman to make Australia? It has been low on her priority list all her career — how many cancellations was it? She really should not accept invitations like that. She should enter negotiations and set up some sort of deal whereby if she gets there she can be added to a programme. Or stick to recording. She is unreliable — and has been since long before her 70s.

          • ED says:

            It feels a rather extreme response. Again, since you know the potential of her cancelling, you don’t have to book.. No one is forcing you to.. If her cancelations make you so angry, just look elsewhere.. Some of us would rather a small chance to hear her (or any other great musician) than none at all.. There will be plenty of other concerts for you to book, I’m sure..

      • Nick says:

        Rubinstein, Horowitz, Cherkassky, Earl Wild, Serkin, Arrau played well into their 80s – and in some cases beyond. Unless there are physical problems and/or a punishing schedule, there would seem to be no reason why Ms. Argerich can not continue for more years yet – if she is prepared to perform.

      • esfir ross says:

        The same with Cecilia Bartolli, but she’s young and healthy.

      • David says:

        She’s performing this Monday in Lucerne. How was that not canceled?

    • Simonsays2015 says:

      Guess what? She cancelled Australia! Second time.

  • Gary says:

    It should be news when she actually shows up! On the plus side, when she canceled in LA a couple of years ago her replacement was Jeremy Denk.

  • Argerichfan says:

    She played 3 concerts in Buenos Aires last week, playing the Liszt E flat concerto for the first time in 12 years. At her age, that’s pretty impressive. Before the concerts, she talked to the press, and she told that she was suffering from a fever. Now she’s back in Europe, I guess the jetlag doesn’t make it any better. She played a LOT of concerts this year. Give her a break….

  • Pedro says:

    I am in Salzburg and have a ticket for the concert. I will go of course as the rest of the programm Is interesting. Have fond memories of previous appearances of MA here, namely an outstanding Ravel G minor with Abbado and an excellent two pianos recital with Freire ( the latter has been published by DG ). I have also heard the Liszt by her in a Lucerne outstanding performance with Rotropovitch several years ago. I’m a lucky man.

  • David says:

    She will be playing in Lucerne on 15/8. This performance has not been canceled (yet).

  • Duncan says:

    Norman, do you think she’ll show for her Prom with Barenboim and WEDO next week? She’s due to be playing the Liszt again…

  • 18mebrumaire says:

    Well, let’s try to be positive about this. Perhaps she’ll take time out during her convalescence to get her hair fixed — she needn’t even leave the house!

  • Brian B says:

    Heaven knows she’s been through a lot healthwise; but if you don’t want her to cancel, you must also engage Dutoit.

  • nimitta says:

    Most of these comments say more about their authors than about Martha Argerich. She was magnificent in the Liszt concerto in Lucerne on the 15th, although still coughing intermittently at the keyboard. Anyone who doubts she was ill should know that last night, Daniel Barenboim barely made it through the three final Mozart symphonies, so constant and severe was his coughing – much improved tonight.

    Not so easy to catch a fake malady, even from someone with whom you play 4-hand music (a Schubert encore tonight after the Liszt), hold hands, and greet daily with a kiss to each cheek.

  • Mark Johnson says:

    What was the Schubert encore?

  • Mark Johnson says:

    Yes thanks, I picked that up also from reviews after. They also played it as encore at the Prom concert in London on Wednesday 17th.