A year ago, the International Music Foundation of Chicago booked cellist Sebastian Bäverstam for their Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts on January 10.
A few days ago, just before Christmas, they told Sebastian to change his arrival date to the day before the recital.
Since Sebastian had booked non-refundable tickets for the cello and himself months in advance, he replied that he was unable to do so. Sorry, said Chicago, we’ll get another cellist.
Sebastian is now $1,000 out of pocket and steaming at Chicago brutality. He is still listed on the concerts calendar and has received no reply from IMF to his emails.
The Dame Myra Hess Memorial concerts are run by Mark Riggleman, a former education director at Lyric Opera, with an artistic committee.
They owe Sebastian a refund and an apology.
Until these are forthcoming, soloists are advised to beware Chicago’s IMF.
You can read below a comment from Mark Riggleman, presenting a different account of events, and another from Sebastian claiming that Mark did not respond to his concerns or reply to his emails. Clearly, communications between the presenter and the artist (or his agent) were some way less than desirable.