Barenboim and Argerich pull out of Salzburg

Barenboim and Argerich pull out of Salzburg


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2023

Message from the Whitsun Festival:

For health reasons, Daniel Barenboim has been forced to cancel his participation in the Schubertiade on Whitsun Monday (29 May, 3 pm). The original plan was for Daniel Barenboim to play four-hand piano works by Franz Schubert with Martha Argerich. Therefore, Martha Argerich will not perform at the Schubertiade either.

The Dutch duo Lucas and Arthur Jussen will replace them.

Artistic Director Cecilia Bartoli will perform Schubert songs with Lang Lang.

Satire is officially dead.


  • A.L. says:

    Yes indeed. Satire RIP. Cecilia Bartoli “singing” Schubert, and with Bam Bam no less, effectively killed it.

  • Alex says:

    A misleading post to say the least. Poor journalism. Martha Argerich will “only” play Schumann’s Piano Concerto at the evening gala, with Zubin Mehta conducting. Barenboim is expected to be in attendance. Martha did not pull out from the festival. It is very understandable why she did not wish to perform 4 hand works with someone else, considering the emotional content. The afternoon all-Schubert concert referred to in this article actually has a great program, with many brilliant musicians. Search for it, the real joke is on Norman, who perhaps wishes to be there himself.

    • HearHear says:

      Quite. Although better than NL’s rather worrying practice of publishing an ‘anonymous’ writer’s name and place of employment on the website to deliberately ‘shame’ them when they’ve said something he dislikes, as he did about 6 months ago. An illegal use of data protection, which several people pointed out. It’s stuck in the memory as being pretty low.

  • Alan says:

    You could really see this coming a long time ago. A bit cynical not to have told ticket holders or potential purchasers that this was likely much further back. It really would be better if DB just cancelled all engagements for the rest of the year, got himself better if he can, and start again next year.

  • Harpist says:

    Didn’t B just declare his health issues are under control and improving?
    That said, he is 80 years old so he can be sick as long as he wants without at least me complaining. Wishing him speedy recovery.

    • Alan says:

      He did but clearly he went back working before he should have and a lot has been cancelled. A year off might have done him the world of good.

  • MMcGrath says:

    Might I suggest that Barenboim withdraws from all engagements? But no, as with Domingo, it’s all about ego. Just the other day he said he is “getting better” – and what that means we see now. It’s not fair to audiences or organizers. There is plenty of young talent to take his place.

  • Beatitude says:

    Satire lives. Any guess as to whom will be the bigger diva?

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    The Jussen Brothers will do just fine!!

    • Jonathan Sutherland says:

      Substituting two titans of the keyboard such as Barenboim and Argerich with the Goldilocks frères Jussen would be akin to replacing
      Paul Bocuse with Colonel Sanders.

  • George says:

    If Barenboim is the man of political principle he claims, he should pull out of Salzburg because of its willingness to hire Putin’s stooges, including Anna Netrebko. That and its ties to Russian gas corporations should make Salzburg a no-go for the foreseeable future.

  • Willym says:

    When I received the prospectus – which was very late in being published this year – it struck me that with the news circulating concerning the health of the two performers there was some question if they would be able to appear. I’m glad to hear that Argerich is well enough to perform.

    Sadly the Whitsun Festival appears to have become simply an extended- and equally expensive – version of the Summer Festival.