Two drop out of BBC Proms over ‘scheduling issues’

Two drop out of BBC Proms over ‘scheduling issues’


norman lebrecht

August 10, 2021

The Philharmonia conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali has dropped out of this Saturday’s Prom and Miah Persson has withdrawn on 4 September.

Both cite ‘scheduling issues arising from the pandemic’, which is singularly uncommunicative.

It sounds like an agent’s euphemism for something else. Any ideas.

Their replacements are Paavo Jarvi (same agent) and the US soprano Francesca Chiejina.



  • Anon says:

    “scheduling issues arising from the pandemic” = “changing government requirements for quarantine and testing arising from the pandemic”.

    It really isn’t that difficult

  • Dennis Davis says:

    Well, that just shows where Santtu’s priorities are NOT! What a pity.

  • Nothing to see here says:

    Exactly the same as was said for Elim Chan and Sol Gabetta and others who’ve withdrawn from the Proms I think. Makes sense to me, one rule change or self-isolation period required and you can’t travel.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    ==singularly uncommunicative

    I think it’s fairly clear. What a strange comment

  • Alexander Hall says:

    It does not look good for the Philharmonia if its much-heralded and over-hyped new principal conductor is the only boss or departing boss of the London orchestras not to get all his ducks in a row (Rattle, Jurowski and Petrenko appear to have none of those mysterious “scheduling difficulties”). Unless it is a jump-in concert, conductors know months in advance where and when they are contracted to appear, have agents to alert them to additional travel requirements or make the necessary arrangements for them. When I last looked, there were no additional problems affecting travellers from Finland. Or perhaps Rouvali, known for his great love of shooting, is so busy with his hunt for big game that he has insufficient time to travel to London to conduct one of his orchestras.

  • Paul Carlile says:

    Well, having been unlucky enough to suffer a Rouvali concert, i’d say that the prommers have had a lucky escape in this case!

  • Louise Hynd says:

    Just an opportunity for Mr Lebrecht to indulge in his spiteful and ignorant pastime of “agent bashing”.

  • Will Simpson says:

    Miah Persson is opening as the Countess in Figaro at the Semperoper on 2 September with a 2nd performance on 9 September. She could really only commit to the Prom if travel beteen Dresden and London were guaranteed to be trouble-free.

  • Bean says:

    Anyone who has yet to transplant an artist from one country to another to fulfil an engagement in the current climate has no idea how utterly demoralizing an undertaking it is
    Scheduling issues arising from the pandemic = scheduling issues arising from the pandemic. No hidden meaning.

  • Colin says:

    “The Philharmonia conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali has dropped out of this Saturday’s Prom and Miah Persson has withdrawn on 4 September”.

    Noted. No details are required, thank you.

  • M2N2K says:

    These days, “scheduling issues” might actually mean ‘scheduling issues’.

  • Rit says:

    Scheduling issues= can get into Britain but can’t get back home at all/without lengthy quarantine, which might mean missing more than just one gig or a significant life event eg birth of a child or wedding of a close relative/friend. Am not suggesting that Santu or partner has a baby on the way, but am just pointing out that there are more important things in life than performing at the Proms. Diana Damrau has dropped out over less.

  • Rit says:

    Francesca is wonderful and was previously a Young Artist at the Royal Opera- the audience is in for a treat. I’ve enjoyed her performances many times. Paavo conducts the Philharmonia – brilliantly – so many times that I once actually thought he was their chief conductor/principal guest conductor/etc ie senior staff.

    To be fair, Miah herself has rescued Proms concerts when other singers dropped out before, with much less notice.