Two more conductors drop out… this is beyond a joke

Two more conductors drop out… this is beyond a joke


norman lebrecht

June 12, 2017

Apart from the four big-stick cancellations, the Venezuelan Rafael Payare has just told the Luxembourg Phil he’s too sick to conduct. Dmitri Liss will stand in.

And the Czech Juraj Valcuha has cancelled on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Marzena Diakun is flying in from Warsaw to make her Merseyside debut.


  • Hugh Jorgan says:

    Hope the airlines treat the conductors’ batons more carefully than violas, flutes and double basses. A broken big-stick collection would be catastrophic. Make sure the material they’re made of doesn’t contravene the CITES regulations either, or they might be confiscated and burnt.

    • mr oakmountain says:

      That might explain the toothpick that Gergiev is conducting with. Flight luggage regulations.

  • Anon. says:

    Are musicians and conductors not allowed to be ill?

  • V.Lind says:

    This blog has its own obsessions. I find this one amusing. I find it less so not to have seen a word about the London terrorist incident. While the casualty list was smaller than Manchester’s, it was the second incident in a fortnight, changed the focus of an election, and still did dramatic harm to innocent British people. Manchester orchestras were (precipitately) berated for not issuing statements earlier.Not a word to the silence of the London music community.


    • SVM says:

      Attacks of the sort recently seen in London and Manchester are becoming common enough in the UK (and Europe more generally) as to no longer be particularly surprising occurrences. Consequently, to retain the double standard of reporting profusely on such attacks in the UK, whilst consistently overlooking far bigger and more frequent atrocities in other parts of the world, is no longer tenable. Presumably, the reason for the lack of reporting on Slipped Disc, an *international* forum about classical music, is that no musicians have been reported to Mr Lebrecht as having been directly caught-up in the aforementioned attacks. And, even if concerning oneself primarily with the UK, let us remember that the casualties attributed to terrorism still pale in comparison to those attributed to other forms of crime which are perpetrated all over the country on a daily basis. Statistically, one of the most significant risks to life and limb in the UK is from road traffic accidents (this deserves to be reiterated, since it reminds us that we can *all* play our part to reduce this risk through reflecting on our behaviour as drivers/passengers/motorcyclists/cyclists/pedestrians/&c.).

    • Peter Phillips says:

      In fact, the Hall√©, the BBCPhil and the Manchester Camerata joined forces in a tribute concert. Predictably it had nil attention or recognition. I don’t know about the attendance.

    • Alexander Davidson says:

      That is not entirely true. The very next day the Philharmonia Orchestra and Rodolfus Choir, under conductor J√©r√©mie Rhorer, and with soloists Elizabeth Watts and Jean-S√©bastien Bou, went ahead with their performance of Requiems by Durufl√© and Faur√©. The programme had in fact been scheduled some year and a half or so in advance but could not have been more apt under the circumstances. J√©r√©mie Rhorer made a brief speech dedicating the concert to the victims of the previous night’s attack and inviting one minute’s silence, for which the orchestra and audience spontaneously stood up. I was surprised that it was not commented upon on this blog at the time.

      • V.Lind says:

        Thank you for telling us. I can think of no more appropriate forum than this for remarking it. And I am sorry; I did not know. But my comments, anyway, were aimed at the blog, not the musicians.

        • Alexander Davidson says:

          Yes, so I gathered! Like you, I was surprised that it was not mentioned on this blog, since it was presumably the main or only response of the London classical music community to the incident the night before.

  • Extinct Conductors says:

    Payare conducts the Ulster, he was a “pupil” of Lorin Maazel, heard he was trying for the VPO. He has already conducted a memorial concert! I think the days of stick waving started in the 19th century are numbered, either go conductorless like the” historically informed buses”, or use a drone, surely a robot mannikin could do the job at half the cost!

    • Theodore McGuiver says:

      Witnessed Payare in Toulouse a little while ago, the Sideshow Bob of the podium. Distinctly underwhelmed by the lack of musicianship as well as stick technique. VPO? They’d have him for lunch.

  • M2N2K says:

    For some reason, it reminds me of a famous Gershwin’s tune – all together now:
    and the canc’ling is eeaa-sy…

  • dar says:

    The elephant-in-the-cabin…A malaise magnifier?
    Aerotoxic Syndrome is the term given to the illness caused by exposure to contaminated air in jet aircraft.

    Is the air on planes TOXIC? Dangerous chemicals found in blood samples of cabin crew raise fears about in-flight ‘poisoning’
    German scientists found organophosphates in blood samples from aircrew
    They also found traces of volatile organic compounds from aircraft engines
    Samples were taken from people complaining of symptoms linked to fumes
    It will raised fears about the air pumped into aircraft cabins during flights …

  • Cyril Blair says:

    Usually this rate of calling-in-sick only happens among the guards at the Cook County Jail on Mother’s Day.

  • Sue says:

    Perhaps in lieu of these concerts this might be in order!!

  • andrey says:

    Glad for Dmitry Liss, who will take over in Luxemburg. Great conductor, fine musician, wise teacher. Definitely underrated in Western Europe, but in last few years is more and more visible.

  • Belfast Bob says:

    One of them is going to end up conducting the DUP Symphony Orchestra, leader Arlene Foster for a concert for a special Judith Weir composition commissioned as Master of the Queen’s Music, to celebrate Arlene Foster of the DUP rescuing Theresa May, The Battle of the Boyne symphony and a triumphal Orange Order Parade at Downing Street and Windsor Castle. Already the Lord Chamberlain has asked the Queen to allow Prince William to don a 17th wig and play the part of King Billy, Harry will play King James and Jeremy Corbyn will be Lundy. A triumphal 11th July bonfire party will follow. Here is what it will look like.