Performances at Cleveland Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Are Literal Showstoppers

Classic Arts News   Performances at Cleveland Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Are Literal Showstoppers
 
There must have been something in the Midwestern air last Thursday, as performances in Detroit and Cleveland both came to a grinding halt.

During a Cleveland Orchestra performance that evening (May 24) at Severance Hall, music director Franz Welser-M‹st was forced to stop the show twice during the last movement of Alban Berg's Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin and 13 Wind Instruments, with Mitsuko Uchida as soloist.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that all seemed to be going well when suddenly things fell apart and Welser-M‹st said, "Sorry." He directed the ensemble to begin a few bars back, but the performance derailed a second time.

"You see how difficult this is," Welser-M‹st said to the audience. "It worked this morning."

Meanwhile, in Detroit, Yefim Bronfman stopped the show while performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Towards the end of the first movement, according to The Detroit News, Bronfman stopped playing and called out to conductor Peter Oundjian that a D-natural on the keyboard's upper register wasn't working.

While the house piano technician wrangled with the keyboard, Oundjian and Bronfman joked on stage: "I don't see what the big deal is. The D is missing and the concerto happens to be in D minor," said Oundjian. "Right now," replied Bronfman, "I wish I played violin."

After more banter, the technician finished the job and restored the D key and Bronfman resumed the movement's solo cadenza as if nothing had happened, according to the News.

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