Saturday, March 5, 2011

BSO — 2011/03/03-08

From the BSO website:
In these special concerts, Christian Tetzlaff is soloist in all three works on the program, including the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s new work for violin and orchestra, a BSO commission for Tetzlaff. On these concerts Christian Tetzlaff also performs Mozart’s single-movement Rondo in C and Bartók’s scintillating Violin Concerto No. 2, influenced by the folk music of Central Europe.   *
BSO Music Director James Levine has had to withdraw from his remaining scheduled concerts of the BSO's 2010-11 season, March 3-19, including Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Kennedy Center appearances, though all concerts will take place as scheduled.

Maestro Levine is forced to cancel appearances due to ill effects from a recent procedure addressing his ongoing back issues, further complicated by a viral infection.
*Emphasis added.

Not only has Maestro Levine withdrawn from his remaining concerts this season (this series and four touring performances later this month, but he has also resigned the Music Directorship, effective September 1, 2011. Here's a link to the official announcement. IMO, it was a decision that had to be made. His ongoing back problems have been forcing him to cancel far too many appearances. Still it's sad that it has come to this. He's done an excellent job with the orchestra in the time he's been here, and it's unfortunate to miss out on "what might have been" if he had been healthy.

Brian Bell of WCRB has recorded an interview with the Managing Director of the BSO, Mark Volpe about Maestro Levine's resignation, and it will be broadcast at some point during the hour before the concert. It is or was also on the WCRB website, and, having listened to it there, I can tell you it's really interesting.

BSO Assistant Conductor Marcelo Lehninger is substituting for Maestro Levine. I was there on Thursday evening, and didn't really care for either the Birtwistle concerto, which had its world premiere that evening, nor the Bartók. But if you like 20th-21st century music, you might like this show. And the violinist handled it well, I guess.

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