Yannick finally sends a word to his Met musicians

Yannick finally sends a word to his Met musicians


norman lebrecht

June 25, 2020

Some in the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera have been increasingly vocal in their compaints that they haven’t heard from their music director since the outbreak of Covid.

It’s not altogether surprising since he’s also chief in Philadelphia and Montreal, but still.

Last night, he flashed up a video on Youtube.


Some of the musicians, meanwhile, have taken to the streets.

They have also been giving virtual masterclasses with Scarsdale High School, Renaissance School of the Arts in East Harlem, and the Napa Valley Festival.



  • Save the MET says:

    Too little, too late. His “other” jobs should not stop him from properly dealing with all of his responsibilities. If he can’t deal with all of them effectively, he needs to lighten his load. Especially in a time where he’s not traveling, rehearsing, or performing.

    • Anon says:

      As someone who has played under him fairly regularly for the last few years, I can tell you first-hand that he is more than capable of handling all his responsibilities. How a human being can do all he does at such a high level, I’ll never understand…

      • Yannick says:

        Thank you

        • Nardo Poy says:

          I don’t know where Norman gets his information, but had he
          done his homework, he would have been aware of you having been in touch with us a number of times. We’ve been very appreciative, Yannick.

        • San Juan Hill says:

          Yannick has done quite a bit.

          Try looking up the YouTube synchronized concerts Norman.

          BTW Yannick has a lot of balls in the air and is juggling them admirably along with taking pay cuts and communicating with artists.

          Gelb never had any balls…so down goes the Met in spite of his self-serving fundraiser after abandoning everyone that MAKES the opera house so great. It hasn’t been great for the past 3 decades. Just riding on a good pedigree like so many others.

          The Met needs to dissolve along with the rest of Lincoln Center. Why?? The Left is destroying anything American and Lincoln anyway and these college-educated types need something to either trash out and create their own little kingdom or torch. Bye, bye!!

        • Karl says:

          Is that really you Yannick? Karl is a BIG fan. Thank you for stopping the audience coughing at the Bruckner in Montreal last season. I’m furloughed and my boss shoots me a short e-mail every few weeks say she doesn’t know when there will be work, but she’s trying to find me some.

        • Keep up the good work,Yannick. Enjoyed your Prom replacing the late Maris Jansons

    • Jay says:

      It’s how you play the game and he is quite
      good at it , music directors have only one
      aim in life “how to protect their jobs” Just
      love how he says nothing with such sincerity.

    • AlbericM says:

      Cuddling with each and every member of the orchestra is not a job responsibility. That is Gelb’s job. Since the orchestra has been furloughed, it could be argued that Yannick bears them no responsibility until contracts are resumed. Besides, considering the orchestra’s history of complaints, goldbricking and walkouts, I’m surprised anybody would feel that any of them are entitled to handholding.

      • Tiredofitall says:

        I would hope Yannick has a bit more conscience than to abrogate his responsibilities and allegiance to his orchestra members, if for no other reason than a fat pay check. And “Goldbricking”? You really don’t know this orchestra.

      • Jaura says:

        What the hell is goldbricking? And WHAT history of complaints and walkouts? Do you mean strikes? Every orchestra has gone through those! Why are people always picking on this great orchestra?

        • Bruce says:

          “Goldbricking” means inventing excuses, shirking. An example would be calling in sick to work, and then posting pictures on Facebook of your 15-mile hike in the mountains.

        • Bruce says:

          Also, *some* people hate every orchestra that makes a decent living, but the Met is a special favorite because they’re part of such a fancy, elitist organization.

  • Player says:

    The Mascagni brought tears to my eyes. Such great musicians! Keep the faith! Your music-making is a treasure.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Music directors have to walk a careful balance between the the four groups they work with (musicians, management, board of directors, audiences).

    Siding with one group ultimately hurts their integrity with the other three. So there they have to be careful before stepping in to the fray.

    I’m sure he will find a way to handle the situation and work with all parties. He seems like a smart person.

  • Leonore says:

    This is not the first time Yannick has reached out to his musicians since COVID. He has sent us multiple messages and videos – I have received them. This is just the first time it’s been public. He has not left us behind, and appreciate his willingness to support our fundraising efforts to get us through this crisis.

  • Doug says:

    Another example: Globalism doesn’t work. Or at least it places the workers at the bottom while the elite benefit.

  • Marshall says:

    Oh, I’m sure he cares about the Met orchestra, and has communicated with them.

    But a more interesting question is raised at this time of challenging the order of all things. We already had suggestions here about closing the Met Museum in NYC because it’s politically incorrect, and I’m waiting for them to get rid of the Washington and Jefferson memorials because, well they were slave owners. Is that for next week?

    Why is one man in charge of 3 orchestras?? Isn’t one enough? And shouldn’t there be more diversity among conductors? etc.

    • Karl says:

      3 orchestras because he’s that good. People with his level of talent don’t come along often. I go to lots of concerts and the ones he conducts are often really special.

    • Sharon says:

      Diversity? The fact that he is openly gay means that he is considered a minority, diversity hire. The Met has done its civic duty.

      • Chocolate Candy says:

        By those standards, Levine should cum back as a guest conductor.

        He is gay and is a “chocolate lover” as the MET board knows via historical NYC police reports.

  • Pete says:

    Once again, you are creating controversy where there is none. Please stop. You’re embarrassing those of us who are actually musicians.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yannick has been very supportive and has communicated with the members of the Met Orchestra. Any assertion otherwise is false and a blatant intent to create controversy where this is non.

  • Papageno says:

    Remove “finally” from the article headline to avoid being labeled fake news.

  • Nardo Poy says:

    He actually HAS been in touch with us before. It would be nice if you wouldn’t pass on false information. As for Alberic’s snarky comment, if you don’t know the facts, please keep your opinions to yourself.

  • Peter says:

    The “best opera orchestra in the world”?! Oh, dear… why are people in the US so ignorant sometimes? (Yes, I know, he is Canadian)
    What a difference between James Levine (a genius in his job, even if he justifiably has been sacked over sexual misconduct with minors) and Yannick… the last 10 years at the Met probably brought the biggest Met crisis (in ticket sales (I just remembered my last example – La Damnation de Faust in concert earlier this year, with 70% of the venue empty!) , in having just the same handful of “stars” invited while totally ignoring 75% of them, terrible costly productions that had to be changed after just a few years and so on…)
    So, please, the Met needs actually bigger help than donations, it needs a much better team at the helm than Gelb-Yannick!!!!!!!

    • Yes Addison says:

      Nézet-Séguin only assumed the position of Met music director in 2018. If you have a problem with “the last 10 years,” you might recall that the genius Levine held the title of the Met’s music director until 2016.

  • fflambeau says:

    I think he has too many positions. Too much on his plate.

  • Wendy says:

    I cannot think of another conductor who has demonstrated so much appreciation for their orchestra. I am a symphony musician and was brought to tears when he brought the Met orchestra on-stage for bows. Thank you, Maestro.

  • annnon says:

    “masterclasses with Scarsdale High School…”

    What does it even mean to give a “masterclass” to high school students, who are not even close to conservatory level?

    Masterclass is the most abused term in classical music: it turns out that everyone is a master, and that everyone is taking a masterclass.

    Youtube is filled to the brim with masterclasses, and watching them, I have come to 2 grand conclusions:

    (Drum roll please)

    1) The level of playing by the student rarely rises to the level where they need the intervention of a master, they still needed work in the basics. Normally, it’d be called “my regular weekly session with my teacher”.

    2) The masterclass is the highlight of their music career. You’ll never hear from 99.999% of students again who appear in masterclasses.

    • Enquiring Mind says:

      If you go to Bill’s Music for your weekly lesson that is probably not a master class. If you take a class with a player in the Philadelphia Orchestra, that is a masterclass because it is taught by a master. Your level does not come in to the definition of masterclass. No where does what you are doing 10 years later come into the definition of masterclass. Here is something to think about. Those who have mastered their instrument can usually help a player at any level, perhaps even more than the teacher at Bill’s.

  • Charlie Gemeinhardt says:

    When a completely false headline and post is exposed you perpetuate your lack of credibility by taking down critical comments.