The complications in air travel that are proving prohibitive for the orchestra include long delays, cancelled flights and extremely strict limits on carry-on luggage, according to a statement. Professional musicians who use expensive instruments are, in general, extremely reluctant to have their instruments travel in a plane's cargo hold.
The orchestra's Edinburgh program included John Adams's Chamber Symphony, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25 (to be performed with pianist Richard Goode) and Mozart's Symphony No. 41 ("Jupiter"). This was substantially the same program (with a different Mozart concerto for piano soloist Ingrid Fliter) with which Runnicles and St. Luke's closed the Caramoor Festival near New York City on Saturday (August 12).
An orchestra spokesman said in a statement, "Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has proved impossible to surmount the obstacles in the very short time available. The orchestra and its conductor, Donald Runnicles, are deeply disappointed that these concerts cannot take place and hope to return to Europe in the near future."
Edinburgh Festival ticket holders are being offered seats at an alternative performance or a refund, according to the BBC.
Meanwhile, the BBC Proms (www.bbc.co.uk/proms) has already found a replacement orchestra to play the originally planned program for the August 17 concert. Joining the headline artist, tenor Ian Bostridge, will be conductor Paul Daniel and the City of London Sinfonia; the music on offer will be Stravinsky's "Dumbarton Oaks" Concerto, Lutoslawski's Paroles tiss_es, Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll" and Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony.
So far, all other events at both festivals seem to be going ahead as scheduled.