Sicklist: Conductor and soloist drop out on LSO

Sicklist: Conductor and soloist drop out on LSO


norman lebrecht

March 11, 2017

Valery Gergiev has flu. Janine Jansen has sinusitis.

Sunday’s concert will be conducted by Susanna Mälkki with Christian Tetzlaff as soloist in the Brahms concerto.

No loss of value.

Book here.


  • harold braun says:

    But also no gain.Both sick performers are more interesting than their replacements.

    • MOO says:

      Bollocks. At least the replacement isn’t crying off with something so trivial as ‘sinusitis’.

      • Talking the Talk says:

        Moo, sinusitis or not, perhaps you’d like to step in and perform the Brahms, as obviously from your post your a very successful soloist completely au fait with all the pressures and pitfalls of a life on the road and concert platforms.

        But just out of interest, what is the acceptable level of sickness for an artist to withdraw? Obviously sinusitis is an unacceptable level but how about pneumonia, would that be ok, or how about bronchitis? I only ask as obviously as well as being a successful solo violinist your medical knowledge is also extensive and sought after by professional musicians.

      • Una says:

        Sinusitis is not funny nor trivial, particularly if you are also deaf with it. It is not a nose.

        • Una says:

          Not a runny nose, and is painful.

          • Paul Davis says:

            Sinusitis, very painful and disabling, better not to risk playing badly; only he who realises the risk he is running nose……

          • Sue says:

            Agree. I had this condition when pregnant with my 2nd child and had to call the doctor in the middle of the night because my face was in excruciating pain. It remained that way for over 2 weeks.

            I was at a recital of the Labeque Sisters in 1988 at the Adelaide Festival. One of them had a heavy cold and was dripping from her nose all over the keyboard for the entire evening. I felt sorry for her, but she was obviously a trooper.

    • Graham says:

      Why does Nornan feel the need to make snide comments?

      I heard Janine Jansen give a very fine performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto in Vienna last year. She is one of the best violinists of her generation. No need to denigrate her.

      • Liz says:

        I assume he was crediting Mälkki and Tetzlaff’s talents, not insulting Gergiev or Jansen. They’re all wonderful performances! No need to make a mountain out of a molehill 😉

      • Una says:

        I didn’t read Norman’s comment as it read – no loss of value. In other words, at short notice, the replacements will deliver a fine performance. Well done to them, and good luck too. And as for the other two, best wishes for a full return to good health.

        • Graham says:

          Una – fair point. Maybe I was unfair to Norman. As I re- read it, I am less sure what he was trying to say.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Gergiev cancelled last Monday’s concert in Oxford due to “a family emergency”……….

  • Wilhelm says:

    Surely Gergiev could have phoned in his performance like he usually does?!

  • Stephen says:

    When people start running down one of the finest living conductors there really is something wrong and it augures badly for the future of music.

    • Talking the Talk says:

      When people start raising a living conductor above what they really is, there really is something wrong and it augurs badly for the future of music.

      • Talking the Talk says:

        Sorry-‘ they’ should be ‘he’ but it applies equally well to the plural.

      • Una says:

        Just in your opinion … the people there at the concert will judge for themselves. Always pays to be generous in life, particularly your fellow musicians …

        • Talking the talk says:

          But they won’t have a chance as he is unwell – I think that’s the point of the story no? And regarding generosity, would it be that he was so towards music and his fellow musicians, but that aside, I agree it generally pays to be generous in life. Speaking personally and generally however, if I could understand it, I would rather read Einstein’s view of relativity than hear the view of the guy down the local.

  • Mon Coeur S'Ouvre A Ta Voix says:

    Sinusitis is very painful (particularly in the area of what singers call the “masque”), and can interfere with hearing. One can imagine the pain of the violin’s vibrations through the player’s skull! To avoid episodes, I use a neti pot at home, and take along a nifty traveling version called a “NeilMed” (widely available in the States) to keep the sinuses clear and avoid bugs picked up through normal human contact. Don’t carp unless you have walked a mile through the sufferer’s Kleenex.

  • Mephisto says:

    For what it’s worth, I bought a ticket after reading that Susanna Malkki was conducting. As it turned out, both she and the soloist Christian Tetzlaff were excellent. Well done the LSO in getting such wonderful replacements at short notice and giving us the music as advertised (though admittedly that was rather short measure – why no overtures these days?)

  • Saxon Broken says:

    Funnily enough, Gergiev was ill for his other concerts with the LSO this season. Last season he was only programmed for three Barbican concerts and next year he won’t do any.