Itzhak Perlman has cancelled this week's four-concert engagement with the San Francisco Symphony, due to illness. I am disappointed, as any ticket-holder might expect to be, but I am doubly disappointed that they did not replace him with another violinist. He was to have conducted and performed Mozart's Adagio in E major and Rondo in C major, and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. Granted, it might have been a challenge to find a replacement to fit into that program on short notice, but instead Michael TT will conduct and Jeremy Denk will perform a Beethoven concerto.
The SFS has glutted their calendar this season with pianist after pianist and frankly, I'm shocked that they are adding yet one more pianist. Particularly when the person being replaced is Itzhak Perlman. Surely the people who bought tickets would feel better if they still got to hear violin music, yes?
I'll save my griping for when I get their customer service line on the phone today, but in the meantime, I'd really like to know if this is a common thing: to replace a violinist with a pianist and vice-versa. Perhaps I should consider myself fortunate that they put a soloist in at all, and didn't just shove in some warhorse symphony, or test out some new contemporary music.
Got any similar stories to share? I imagine there are both disappointments and pleasant surprises in such scenarios, and I suppose it's the nature of the business. Musicians fall ill, too. But, boy, if it had been something like Hilary playing the Sibelius, I would be bouncing up and down in outrage right now. Still.... Itzhak. It was to have been my first time in seeing him perform live. : (
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