With the musical season winding down and summer almost upon us, my last conducting dates took place on behalf of others. Let me explain.
In mid-April, I received a call from the Rhode Island Philharmonic asking if I were available to stand in for Bramwell Tovey to conduct the final concerts of their subscription series. I had filled in for him on two occasions last season, conducting concerts with smaller forces. This time, I had the opportunity to work with the full orchestra. Bramwell’s program included the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven and works by Brahms and Barber to begin. As a guest, one does not often get the chance to do this symphony, as it is usually reserved for the music director.
Highs and lows dominated the opening of the spring season. My old globe-trotting ways have returned, but numerous restrictions, protocols, and health checks made parts of the journey burdensome.
I was in Europe at the end of March, having conducted a fine concert in Dublin. It was a luxury to be able to stay in the city and do a second week with the NSO of Ireland. This booking scheme used to be commonplace for me but is a rarity now. Single dates dominate my conducting schedule these days.