April 21, 2010
Can you drop everything and fly across the country to fill in as soloist for two Beethoven piano concertos? Tomorrow?
This week is filled with musical chairs as artists stranded in Europe miss North American concerts and vice versa. The main culprit is the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, the active volcano in Iceland. But cancellations are also happening for non-volcanic reasons, as is the case with the San Diego Symphony and their two-week long Beethoven Festival.
The pianist Orli Shaham got the call yesterday: a featured performer for the Beethoven Festival, Yefim Bronfman, is under the weather and can't make it. Could she go to San Diego to play Beethoven with the San Diego Symphony? And can she be at a rehearsal on the other side of the country, less than 48 hours from now?
Yes, of course she can.
As of this writing, Orli is winging her way to the west coast for a rehearsal of Beethoven Piano Concertos Number 1 and 2 with the San Diego Symphony and conductor Jahja Ling. She'll be there for less than 12 hours, flying home that evening on an overnight flight. "I won't be there long enough to have jetlag," laughs Orli. The following week, she'll return to San Diego for the April 29 concert, which is part of San Diego Symphony's Beethoven Festival.
There won't be quite so much mad dashing next week, though. The day after Orli performs with the San Diego Symphony, she's due in rehearsal just up the road, in Costa Mesa, California. That's where Orli meets up with members of the Pacific Symphony to prepare for the final "Café Ludwig" concert of the season on May 2.