Friday, June 13, 2014

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, RIP

I want to say a word in memory of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the conductor, who died a couple of days ago. Although I hadn't been aware of him before I started attending Boston Symphony concerts nine or ten years ago, he was a frequent presence on the podium over the past decade, often as a substitute when James Levine's injuries forced him to cancel — but also in programs in which he was scheduled to conduct. I'm not enough of an expert in such things to be able to say whether he was good, great, or something in between, but I know that I enjoyed his concerts, and it surely means something that BSO management wanted him to conduct when a scheduled conductor had to withdraw — he could be relied on for a good performance. So I'm sorry that I'll have no more chances to attend concerts conducted by him. May he rest in peace.

The Boston Globe had a good obituary, (Check out the videos. The shorter one is with the BSO.) and the Harvard Musical Intelligencer ran an article a week earlier, when he announced his retirement, and updated it when he died. There is also a fine notice from WCRB with links to recent performances of his with the BSO, now available on demand.

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