Saturday night’s audience in Philadelphia was informed before the concert that Yannick Nézet-Séguin was unwell.
Up steps Kensho Watanabe, the recently installed assistant conductor, and (according to our observer) delivers a terrific account of a long and difficult programme – Mason Bates’s “Alternative Energy”, Daniil Trifonov in Mozart’s K271, Beethoven’s Prometheus prelude and finale and Liszt’s Prometheus symphony.
Our observer writes: ‘Watching the emergent conductor command this magnificent orchestra with such grace, dignity and warmth, while hearing (and feeling) the ensemble react to his direction with ease and understanding felt like nothing short of magic. For those of us fortunate enough to be there, the multiple standing ovations and the collective cheers signal the start of a brilliant career. Congrats to the young maestro.’
Kensho, a Japanese-American, is a Curtis grad. Philly likes to keep it local.
Credit: Pete Checchia
There has been no mention of the substitution on the orchestra website, or in other media.