An unnamed accident has caused Lorin Maazel to drop out of a series of high-profile concerts this spring, the latest being the Boston Symphony Orchestra's 10-day tour to Japan and China.
The orchestra said that Charles Dutoit will take Maazel's place on the tour, which includes stops in Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou from May 1-10. The BSO had no further details on the nature of Maazel's accident, which is expected to keep him sidelined until the third week of May.
The 84-year-old conductor previously dropped out of two concerts over the weekend at Carnegie Hall, where he was to lead the Munich Philharmonic. Valery Gergiev stepped in on Friday night; Fabio Luisi replaced Maazel on Saturday. The former substitution had other ripple effects: it caused Gergiev to miss the closing-night concert at the Trans Siberian Art Festival in Novosibirsk, Russia on Saturday night. (Gergiev had arrived in New York from London on Friday morning but making it back to Novosibirsk on Saturday was apparently impossible, even by his whirlwind standards.)
The Novosibirsk concert proceeded with a noteworthy twist. According to a report on MusicalAmerica.com, after some lengthy deliberations, violin soloist Vadim Repin decided to play the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 without a conductor. It was a risky (and seemingly rare) move for such an intricate, rhythmically complex work. The performance not only went off without any major hitches, but it was, deemed the music-industry website, “a triumph, one of the most inspired and passionate interpretations of the work I’ve ever heard.”
Back in New York, a group of some 20 protesters greeted Gergiev outside Carnegie Hall on Friday, opposed to the conductor’s friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and to his support for Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. The objections were confined to the outside of the hall, however. Inside, "all was warm and welcoming," according to the New York Times. A spokesman for Gergiev said he had no comment on the protests.