Martha Argerich drops out, conductor steps in

Hours before a Mi-To Festival concert in Milan with the Youth Orchestra of the State of Bahia ‘Neojiba’, the soloist pulled out.

The concert was sold out, the audience waiting. What to do?

The evening’s conductor Ricardo Castro stepped in to play the Schumann concerto, directing from the keyboard.

Marta had played the concerto the night before in Montreux without apparent discomfort.

UPDATE: Martha suffers fall.

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  • Not to have a back-up pianist on standby for an Argerich concert would be foolish. It sounds like the orchestra had a smart solution (and a cost-effective one at that).

  • Verily, a “me too” conductor at the Mi-To Festival! Besides playing Schumann he could have sung Flotow: Martha, Martha, tu sparisti.

  • I saw a (student) concert once where the conductor had to fill in one of the vocal solo parts due to a last minute unavailability (whether illness or concert nerves I cant remember). Conductor did an admirable job, but looked terribly awkward twisting sideways to try and face the orchestra while also projecting some voice towards the audience. Making the best of a difficult situation.

          • This isn’t the first time Argerich has pulled out of a concert. Anticipating that possibility, I would still risk buying a ticket in the hope of witnessing a performance by an immortal player. .Sometimes, there even occurs other
            magic unexpectedly: Another time that Martha cancelled, Yuja Wang stepped in and was introduced to music audiences as a soon-to-be world-class performer!

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