Yuri Temirkanov has canceled the first two of four weeks of concerts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra next month. Now in his final season as BSO music director, the Russian conductor last appeared with the orchestra in October.
Temirkanov canceled several concerts during the past few years due to illness. This cancellation is due to the unexpected death last week in St. Petersburg of a friend, composer Andrei Petrov, best known for writing the scores to more than 70 Russian films.
Petrov, who was 75, suffered a stroke earlier this month. Temirkanov conducted several of Petrov's works over the years, including operas, ballets and symphonic music.
In a statement released yesterday by the BSO, Temirkanov's longtime translator, Marina Stokes, said that the conductor "deeply regrets that he is unable to come to Baltimore at this time. ... He is distraught over the sudden death of his close friend ... and is remaining in St. Petersburg to be near the composer's family."
The BSO's associate conductor, Andrew Constantine, will replace Temirkanov on the podium for performances of works by Sibelius and Prokofiev March 2 at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda and March 3-5 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. A replacement conductor for concerts March 9-12 is expected to be announced shortly.
Temirkanov is still scheduled to lead the BSO during the last two weeks of March. His final performances as music director are slated in late May and early June.