BSO director out rest of season

June 03, 2005|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Yuri Temirkanov, who canceled his appearance with the ensemble this week due to a back ailment, has canceled his remaining BSO concerts of the 2004-2005 season for the same reason.

This marks the third time in 18 months that Temirkanov, 66, has been absent from the podium at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for health reasons. Heart surgery in November 2003 and a protracted cold in January 2004 kept the Russian conductor offstage for several weeks.

Temirkanov's back ailment surfaced during his BSO concerts in April, as well as a tour last month in Italy with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

"He was very, very uncomfortable after that tour," Marina Stokes, the conductor's translator, said yesterday from St. Petersburg. "He saw a doctor in Baltimore and was told the inflammation will go away, but it takes time and rest."

Stokes said Temirkanov has taken medication and had massage for the pain, which "sometimes disappears, but then comes back." He will see another doctor today in St. Petersburg, where he is scheduled to conduct the Philharmonic June 26.

Three guest conductors will fill in for Temirkanov at Meyerhoff Hall and the Music Center at Strathmore. French-born Yan Pascal-Tortelier, principal guest conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, is on duty through Sunday, leading works by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Elgar.

For next week's concert of Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov and Prokofiev, June 9-12, the orchestra welcomes Norwegian Arild Remmereit, recently dubbed "the hottest conductor you've never heard of" by The New York Times.

Remmereit has made something of a specialty lately of taking over on short notice for indisposed colleagues, including such notables as Riccardo Muti and Christoph von Dohnanyi.

The season-closing program, June 16-19, which includes the premiere of a violin concerto by Daniel Brewbaker commissioned by the BSO, will be conducted by James Judd, British-born music director of the New Zealand Symphony.

Judd made a memorable BSO debut last year, substituting for Temirkanov for three weeks.

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