Sick notes: Yannick’s out again

Sick notes: Yannick’s out again


norman lebrecht

June 28, 2018

From Bavarian Radio:

Unfortunately, Yannick Nézet-Séguin had to hand over the leadership of the concerts this week due to illness. Thankfully, the American conductor John Axelrod stepped in for him at short notice, making his debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The program was slightly modified for this reason.

With commitments as music director to Philadelphia, Montreal, Rotterdam and the Met, it’s hardly surprising that Yannick has a lengthening cancellation record.


  • Caravaggio says:

    Spread thin with equal musical results. And this man has the mandate to “save the Met”? Hubris.

  • Yes Addison says:

    Well, I hope we’re not going to pretend that peripatetic star conductors haven’t been the norm since the invention of the jet plane.

    His term in Rotterdam is ending this year, though.

    • Caravaggio says:

      True but let’s also not pretend that YN-S should be spared the criticism (just because he’s a “darling” in some media and fan circles) when so many others, past and present, were/are not cut such slack.

      • Michael Comins says:

        YNS is a “darling” among many including Philly and Met musicians because of his musical gifts and warm personality. Time you got off your anti-YNS soapbox and went elsewhere.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Um…I am not sure you are being fair to Nezet-Seguin. He currently has Philadelphia and Rotterdam, and agrees to help out at his local orchestra in Montreal. He is giving up Rotterdam and replacing it with the Metropolitan opera.

      One of the reasons he has given for taking the Met, is that Philadelphia and the Met are a short train ride from each other, so the commute will not be very difficult and he will be able to devote himself properly to both jobs. Whatever other criticism you may make (not everyone will like his conducting), he really isn’t jet-setting from gig to gig.

  • Marcus Clayton says:

    I don’t think it is correct to state that Maestro YNS has the mandate to “save the Met”.
    He is the new music director, plain and simple, taking over for James Levine, who held the post for decades too long.
    It is time for new music leadership at the Met, and Maestro YNS seems to be an ideal candidate.
    I think he will have to cut back on his dizzying conducting schedule at some point.

  • Barry says:

    I don’t blame people who had tickets to see him conduct for being annoyed.

    However, it’s already been mentioned that he’s leaving Rotterdam after this summer. He’s also come very close to eliminating guest conducting from his schedule next season. There is only one program with the BPO. Combine that with the geographical proximity of his jobs – with Rotterdam out of the picture – and I expect him to do less cancelling after this season.

    I remain very happy with him in Philadelphia. I think he’s only cancelled on his once or twice in the half-dozen seasons he’s been Music Director.

    • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

      I’ll believe he’s cutting back on guest-conducting when I see it. It was what, less than 24 hours before the end of the Philadelphia tour and his next series with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe? He needs to slow down and spend more time studying scores.

      • Barry says:

        Orchestras have already released their schedules for next season. I made the statement on him cutting back on his guest conducting because he is not on the schedule of at least a couple orchestras he’s been conducting annually for a while. His future schedule is also posted on his web site.

  • barry guerrero says:

    Agreed. Cut him slack – he’ll get himself ironed out. I listen regularly to the Philadelphia Orch. broadcasts and I can’t imagine very many other people doing as well on a week to week basis.

  • Manny says:

    I fail to see what a relative child such as he has to say that would interest me. Does he have culture? A sense of style? A sensitive ear for balance and tone color? A wide-ranging, diverse repertoire? Well, maybe a bit of that.
    Fruhbeck de Burgos was the last great conductor.

    • Phillip says:

      Spoiler alert: he has none of those. All he has is big muscles and tight T-shirts. All image and no substance- like virtually all conductors. He’s laughing all the way to the bank.

      • Mike says:

        Hi Phillip and Manny, have either of you worked with him? I have, and on many occasions. Musicians love him and for good reason— he’s extremely skilled, tasteful, and sensitive. Not to mention he’s kind and possesses none of the untouchable maestro qualities which stifle music making. How can you say de Burgos was the last great? Give Yannick until he’s lived to de Burgos’ age and then assess him (hint— he’s already accomplished more). And he’s a child? Bernstein was younger than him when he began as music director of the NYP. Intelligent criticisms would be appreciated next time.

        • Phillip says:

          I could do without the condescension, Mike. You’re not the only performing musician commenting here. I’m not some armchair enthusiast. Thanks.

      • barry guerrero says:

        Well, who do you want? Somebody has to conduct, right? They’re a necessary evil. You can’t prop dead men up on a stool and expect anything to happen.