Temirkanov cancels

Litton steps in

January 12, 2004|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Yuri Temirkanov, who canceled scheduled appearances with the ensemble last weekend, will be missing from the podium this week as well.

Filling in for him will be American conductor Andrew Litton, music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and newly appointed principal conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway.

Temirkanov came down with a bad cold New Year's Eve in St. Petersburg, Russia, but continued to conduct concerts through Jan. 6 at the International Winter Festival Arts Square that he founded there. He was to have left for Baltimore on Jan. 7 to conduct subscription concerts by the BSO Jan. 9--11.

He canceled that trip - James Judd, music director of the New Zealand Symphony, stepped in for him - but did attend the finale of his St. Petersburg festival on Jan. 7, a performance by the Morgan State University Choir.

Asked how he was feeling when he arrived for that concert, Temirkanov said, "Better." The conductor loudly applauded the prorgam by the Morgan singers and also attended a reception for them afterward, posing for photographs and complimenting the chorus.

BSO officials, who were expecting Temirkanov to arrive last Saturday in plenty of time to conduct this week's all-Prokofiev program featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman, learned on Friday that the trip was doubtful. Litton was then engaged to take Temirkanov's place.

As of yesterday, it appeared that the BSO music director would be back in town for next week's program with pianist Lang Lang, the third of what were to have been four weeks in a row of Temirkanov appearances at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. If all goes well, the fourth of those weeks, at the end of January, will find Temirkanov leading the BSO in a program with violinist Giudon Kremer.

This week's program has been modified. Instead of Prokofiev's infrequently heard Symphony No. 7, Litton will lead the popular Symphony No. 5. Bronfman will play the Piano Concerto No. 2, as previously scheduled. The Suite from Prokofiev's opera The Love for Three Oranges has been dropped from the program. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday (when the concerto and the last two movements of the symphony will be played). Call 410-783-8000.

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