Breaking: Dude suffers hand injury

Bad day for conductors.

First Jaap is burned out of the NY Phil by a damaged shoulder.

Now Gustavo Dudamel cancels Boston Symphony: ‘It is with deep regret that I have to withdraw from the remainder of my appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra this week due to an aggravation of an injury from last December,’ said Dudamel in a statement. ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed the rehearsal process and performances of The Rite of Spring and Schumann’s Spring Symphony with the incredible BSO this past week and was so looking forward to this coming week’s performances of music by Desenne, Ginastera, and Estévez—three composers dear to my heart. With apologies to Boston’s wonderful orchestra and audience, I look forward to returning to Symphony Hall in future seasons to continue our fantastic music-making for all those devoted to this remarkable orchestra! I wish everyone in the BSO family the very best.’

Who jumps in?

Ken-David Masur.

 

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  • I’m not sure how he’d feel about it (he’s got a concert in Oslo on Wednesday), but I’d recommend Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Not to typecast by ethnicity, but he has brought his share of Latin-American repertoire to the Philadelphia Orchestra.

  • I think he might have withdrawn because of poor ticket sales for his second week with the BSO. I looked at sales several days ago, and they were bad, embarrassing actually. Only Yo-Yo can draw a sell out crowd when he plays non standard repetoire. Dudamel needs to do at least one standard work on a show.

    • Schumann 1, Sacre (already frightfully modern!) – that’s safe territory in Boston (and elsewhere). Yet: The Boston audience doesn’t hear what it won’t know, as the result of not wanting to hear what it does not know. Which is why Andris doesn’t do Weinberg and Schnittke, which I, as one of not many, profoundly regret (especially Schnittke’s Peer Gynt, which I consider to be one of the very great scores of the 20th Century, must be heard in its entirety, both in the ballet theatre and Symphony Hall).

    • Neither of the comments above is correct.

      First, Gustavo Dudamel’s well-documented recurrent hand & arm injury forced him to withdraw not only from the highly anticipated, Latin American 2nd BSO program but also from the Tuesday performance of Schumann and Stravinsky, a sellout. On the first night of the 2nd program, the house was typical (~2,000) for a Thursday night performance, and Saturday was also a sellout.

      Second, the BSO has no trouble filling the hall for programs that include new works or performers. Most Saturday evening performances are sellouts, soloist or not, and it hardly matters whether they include a new or unfamiliar work. Embarrassing that Mike McGuire doesn’t know this, what with his clairvoyant access to the organization’s sales figures…

      For example, as recently as March 23rd, the orchestra had a sellout for an entire program of works by composers never featured before by the BSO. Most of the Boston audience is eager to “hear what it does not know”, and the orchestra energetically promotes new works via commissions and invitations. Edgar must have missed out on the electric atmosphere of anticipating surrounding last month’s world premiere of Thomas Adès’ new piano concerto, as well as its wildly enthusiastic reception.

      I certainly share Edgar’s fondness for Schnittke and would like to hear the BSO perform his works, but I don’t expect any MD to love or even ‘get’ everything. Every great conductor has affinities and aversions – for example, during his BSO tenure James Levine famously eschewed Bruckner yet dove into Schoenberg. As for Weinberg, I’d be surprised if the orchestra doesn’t program more of his works after the robust critical and popular acclaim his Violin Concerto received in 2017 featuring Juanjo Mena and Gidon Kremer.

  • Ken David Masur, Kurt’s son, is now the head of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. It’s a fine group and its closeness to Chicago could put some pressure on the CSO.

    This is sad news for the Dude who has done so much to create new audiences for classical music. To me, his Los Angeles Philharmonic is the best in the country but the BSO is not far behind.

  • The first part of the BSO’s announcement went missing here. It says: “Gustavo Dudamel has regretfully withdrawn from this week’s performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra due to complications from a hand and arm injury sustained from a fall he took last December. Maestro Dudamel’s doctor has recommended immediate rest in order to avoid further complications and fully recover from the injury. Dudamel had been scheduled to lead Tuesday’s program of Schumann’s Spring Symphony and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, as well as performances of works by Paul Desenne, Ginastera, and Estévez, Thursday, April 11 through Saturday, April 13.” See https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/96168

    Those are hardly earth-shattering selections. The last 3 composers all hail from the Dude’s country.

    The BSO has a long history of supporting innovative programming.

    • No, not all of “the last 3 composers hail from the Dude’s country”: Alberto Ginastera was neither Venezuelan nor Spanish – he was Argentinian.

  • Further,

    The last paragraph of the announcement is also important: “Replacing Mr. Dudamel for Tuesday’s program is Boston Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur. For this upcoming weekend’s concerts, Tanglewood Festival Chorus Conductor James Burton will lead Estévez’ Cantata Criolla. In two changes to the original program, Mr. Masur conducts the Ravel Piano Concerto in G, featuring pianist Sergio Tiempo, and for the April 11 and 13 concerts Berlioz’ Roman Carnival Overture.”

    I believe Masur is also conducting some of those pieces in Milwaukee which helps explain 2 of his program changes. Note that the Estevez piece remains on the schedule.

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