In Monday’s (4/6) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes, “That David Robertson conducted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on Saturday night in the most transparent and riveting account of Sibelius’s elusive Fifth Symphony in memory would have been momentous enough. But for making news in the staid world of classical music, nothing topped Mr. Robertson’s unplanned New York debut as a singer during the symphony’s concert on Friday night at Zankel Hall, the first of two programs during this visit.” Due to flight delays, the musicians didn’t arrive in New York until 6:08 p.m., and many of the musicians performed in street clothes. “Not only that, H K Gruber, the Austrian composer, conductor and self-described chansonnier who was to perform the vocal solo of his own work, ‘Frankenstein!!,’ the major work on the program, never made it. Mr. Robertson, who had conducted this score many times but had never sung the vocal part, did some cramming backstage and performed the solo. Ward Stare, the orchestra’s able young resident conductor, took Mr. Robertson’s place on the podium.”

Posted April 7, 2009