It’s been 3 months. Which artist have you missed most?

It’s been 3 months. Which artist have you missed most?


norman lebrecht

June 21, 2020

Here are a few to get you going:








8 and 9



  • Brettermeier says:

    3: The purple octopus.

  • Prommer says:

    Um, fit birds and a smattering of ageing male talent, some of them somewhat troubled by the authorities of late?

    I miss Christian Thielemann and proper music. There, I said it.

  • Soizbuaga says:

    I love your style, Norman.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    I missed seeing (in person) Imogen Cooper, Vikingkur Olafsson, Igor Levit, Stephen Hough, and Jenny Lin.

  • Brian Cooper says:

    It’s been more than three months since he died, but I will always miss Mariss Jansons.

  • James LaMendola says:

    The artist I miss the most is not an individual, nor has it started yet.
    The 2020 Bayreuth Festival.
    I wait all year for it like Christmas.

  • RW2013 says:

    The weekly dose of obligatory new brilliant conductresses.

  • Pedro says:

    Martha Argerich!

  • Montblanc says:


  • A.L. says:

    None of the above

  • Anon says:

    None of the above.

  • Eric says:

    Definitely 4

  • Mick the Knife says:

    I miss the Baltimore Symphony, Ray Chen, Alsop, the National Symphony, Noseda, Joshua Bell…the artists who perform in my area.

  • Max says:

    So full of hate. You’re such a Trump. Just sad.

  • Scott Fruehwald says:

    1. The Dover String Quartet, 2. Hilary Hahn (she’s been on sabbatical anyway), Alisha Weilerstein.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    None of those 10. And too many others to name. Picking one worthy of being missed out of the many: Augustin Hadelich.

    • Bruce says:

      Hadelich played with us in January, when COVID-19 was a tiny, insignificant dot on the horizon. He played the Beethoven and was magnificent (no surprise there).

      Something unusual: at both performances, the audience gave him a standing ovation after the first movement. (A) We’re uncultured but not that uncultured — our audiences are capable of grasping the idea that classical pieces can have more than one movement; (B) this isn’t the Tchaikovsky concerto, where the first movement ends with at least as big a bang as the finale. I’ve never seen that happen with any piece or any soloist, not even the most exciting Tchaikovsky.

      • Robert Roy says:

        I saw Nigel Kennedy get a standing ovation at the end of the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Concerto in Glasgow in 1979 at The Kelvin Halls when he played with the (R)SNO conducted by Christopher Seaman.

        (I couldn’t tell you what I had for lunch but I can recall that detail from over 30 years ago!)

        • Bruce says:

          Not surprising. The Tchaikovsky has a slam-bang ending to the first movement, as if he’s daring you not to clap (but he knows you will).

          The Beethoven seems like a different kind of beast though.

  • Giuditta da Roma says:


  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Itzhak Perlman. I love seeing his lockdown videos but doubt I’ll ever see him play again. In the 1980s he came here to London three times a season. Many, many performances. His touring to Europe slowed down gradually.

  • Paul says:

    The amount of Netrebko is highly hyperbolized on this website, at least if we were talking about a special voice, but it’s really not the case. I don’t see people wanting to hear her recordings in the future, as the voice is artificially thickened to manage to go through the roles she is now singing.
    Her Dresden Elisabetta sounded like Lady Macbeth as far as I am concerned

  • Major Monarch says:

    1. Teodor Currentzis (because I’m interested)
    2. William Christie
    3. Christian Thielemann
    4. Riccardo Muti
    5. Marianne Crebassa
    6. Janine Jansen
    7. Isabelle Faust
    8. Arcadi Volodos
    9. Patricia Kopatchinskaja
    10. Daniil Trifonov

  • Ken says:

    James Levine.

    • Karl says:

      The best Mahler I have ever heard live was from Levine. Especially the Mahler 3rd he lead in 2007 in Boston. It’s till my #1 concert performance of all time. He’s one of the few conductors who has an intermission after the first movement.

  • Hal Sacks says:

    Joyce Didonato.

  • pjl says:

    to follow your hilarious 10 artists, my own list: Sakari Oramo; Sir Mark Elder; Roderick Williams; James Gilchrist; Richard Hosford; E-P Salonen; Andrew Manze; James Ehnes; Cedric Tiberghien; Nemaja Radulovic

  • sorin braun says:

    classical music contains a relatively small repertoir that has been recorded a billion times in every conceivable style of conducting and orchestra or solo or chamber instrument.
    once in a while we get a creative musical personality , like Currentzis , but even he forsook a marvellous vivid orchestra for an extra-dull obsolete german ensemble.

    • Geoff says:

      I have heard very little of the total classical repertoire in my 85 years, so just give me time to hear a little more of the many bits I have missed.

  • Bruce says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha. None of them.

  • Guest says:

    Lang Lang?


  • Tristan says:

    actually no one of those but definitely Nina Stemme as ELEKTRA at ROH or any of Kiril Petrenko at Munich among a few others but especially those with less hype but greater musicality

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    Well, certaintly none of the above. Ask again in another 3 months, and then in 6, and again in 9. Maybe by then we can play ‘Name these ‘stars’ of yesteryear” The winner gets to sit alone in an auditorium of their choice, gloves and mask provided. After of course having been tested, traced, and isolated for the compulsory 14 days.

  • M2N2K says:

    Most of these “top ten” would make my list of the musicians I have missed least.

  • yujafan says:

    definately missed #1, but who is #5?

  • Minutewaltz says:

    We had tickets to see Lang Lang play in Barcelona in March and were disappointed to miss that.
    However our disappointment is irrelevant compared to what musicians are going through at the moment – and no light at the end of the tunnel.

  • 1. Riccardo Chailly 2. Yeol Eum Son 3. Chung 4. Ivan Fischer 5 Jordan sorry for miss Wang

  • Olassus says:

    No. 5, obvs.

  • Nick says:

    None of the above!
    But would be nice to hear Piotr Anderszewski somewhere.

  • GoMusic says:

    Lucas Debargue. A true to himself and music, not commercially packaged and most talented musician.

    Live behind closed door recital today from the Fondation Singer-Polignac Hall in Paris.

  • Edgar Self says:

    I miss the same ones as before, the illustrious dead, the great ones. Among the living Marc-Ande Hamelin, Benjamin Grosvenor, Ilya Kaler and Amit Peled, Stephen Hough, Gerald Finley and our sometime CSO conductor, Riccardo Mut. There! Never thought I’d say it.

    I second Piotr Anderszewski and Leif-Ove Andsnes

    Among the late departed, Georg Tintner, bilingual baritone Konrad Jarnot, Wolfgang Holzmair, Harnoncourt, Juan Diego Florez, and grand old Magda Olivera, Licia Slbanesi, Karl Liebl.

    • M2N2K says:

      Please do not bury Juan Diego Florez just yet – the last time I checked he was still breathing, as are Jarnot, Holzmair, and even Liebl! Both Albanese and Olivero, though indeed deceased, do deserve to have their last names spelled correctly.

  • Michael Turner (Conductor) says:

    I’ve missed many orchestras and ensembles, among them, Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra, Oswestry Sinfonia, Shrewsbury Phoenix Singers, Shropshire Hills Ensemble and Shropshire Youth Orchestra. I love working with all of these for different reasons and, while I do miss getting to see a number of international musical personalities at work, most of them cannot possibly compete with the list here for the sheer enthusiasm and joy they bring to tackling the wide range of repertoire that I conduct with them.

    I can’t wait to get to conduct the music of Grainger, Mathias, Bernstein, Prokofiev, Mussorgsky, Gounod, Copland, Rubbra, Tchaikovsky, Bartok and more that we would have been working on, had Covid-19 not intervened.

  • Ed says:

    Alfred Brendel.

  • Candelabara says:

    I miss Lang Lang #2. His emotive gyrations are just so infectious. A milder and unmusically harmless form of infection than the one spread by the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Larry L. Lash / Wien says:

    Sir Simon Keenlyside

  • Karl says:

    Montreal Symphony was supposed to a Spanish festival. I was really looking forward to that. And Kent Nagano’s last season there. Zander was going to be conducting Mahler’s 3rd with the Boston Philharmonic. I was really impressed with the Portland Symphony under their new conductor Eckart Preu. I miss everyone though.

  • Esfi Lebovich says:

    PLACIDO !!!
    GUSTAVO !!!

  • Douglas Cairns says:

    I miss Jorge Bolet, Claudio Arrau, the earlier years of William Christie when he was whipping up big Rameau and Handel operas.