Sicklist: Yannick pulls out of Vienna Salome

Sicklist: Yannick pulls out of Vienna Salome


norman lebrecht

September 08, 2017

The overworked Yannick Nézet-Séguin has pulled out of Vienna’s run of Salome next week with a doctor’s note. No specific cause is stated.

He will be replaced by Simone Young, who is already in the house, rehearsing Prokofiev’s The Gambler.


  • Take care and stay healthy, Yannick. We all hope you will succeed Mariss Jansons and take over SOdBR one day.

    • Olassus says:

      Not gonna happen.

    • How can you be so sure? Yannick already dropped Rotterdam. But I assume he would like to keep at least one bastion in Europe? The Berlin job is taken. BR is probably the best job next to Berlin. The orchestra is in good shape. They tour worldwide every single year, record their every single home concert in professional, ready-to-publish quality during the season, have a huge audience base thanks to broadcast. Most importantly, they don’t have to worry about funding, which is not the case in Philadelphia. In the end of the day, artists just want to work on their art, not the stuffs surrounding it. Orchestre Métropolitain is great, but you will break up with your high school sweetheart one day. That’s life.

      People still love Jansons. He has a contract until 2021. But he is not the youngest anymore. His health record not the most reassuring either. Just imagine, one day Philadelphia gets shut down due to wage dispute, Jansons has to step down on his doctor’s advice, who else could be the perfect candidate for the BR job if not Yannick? I hope Harding won’t be available because he is already engaged with Orchestre de Paris …

    • Barry says:

      I had the feeling he may go to Munich at one point, but with his new commitment to the Met and an extension in Philadelphia through 2026, it seems very unlikely at this point; at least not when Jansons leaves. Maybe down the road further if he leaves Philly after ’26.

  • Una says:

    Not much humanity here being shown by the ‘experts’!

  • Barry says:

    He periodically cancels guest conducting appearances, probably due to overwork or exhaustion.

    I expect his schedule to get easier after this season when his Rotterdam commitment expires and his two main will be 75-minute train ride apart. In fact, I would guess having an easier travel schedule had something to do with him locking into those two jobs for some years to come.

  • I have always been wondering why there are star conductors who like to take so many jobs, sometimes more than 4 chief positions, while on the other hand, we have someone like Kirill Petrenko, who just does one job. In fact, he, as Generalmusikdirektor, doesn’t conduct thaaaaaaaaat often in the Staatsoper. And he also cancel, due to overwork.

    How much time do they actually need to do their jobs? I mean, someone only does one, others can do four at the same time. But all of them overwork.

    • Thornhill says:


      Money and to extend their sphere of influence.

      I also assume that it minimizes the numbers of scores they have to study each year. If you were to conduct the bulk of a single orchestra’s season that’s a lot of different material you need to be familiar with. But if you hold chief positions with several orchestras and make lots of guest appearances, I assume most you coordinate programing so you’re conducting the same handful of scores everywhere.

  • Sue says:

    Exhaustion is a real occupational hazard with this kind of lifestyle. Yannick needs to take extreme care of his health. I have a son who works as a senior adviser to a top ranking minister in the Australian government and he is constantly exhausted, and he’s at our place right now on sick leave because of his recent bout of flu and 15 hour days x 6 or 7. Even now he’s on the phone. I worry about such a lifestyle upon general health. It’s not good and we should never, ever take our health for granted.

  • Arthur Kaptainis says:

    YNS did a little ditty called Bruckner 5 last night in Montreal with his Orchestre Métropolitain — and pretty well, to judge by what I read in my own review. Another performance was scheduled for tonight (Friday). The Vienna dates, curiously, have not (at this writing) been deleted from his normally reliable website calendar.