Wednesday, March 11, 2009

'Am I not playing the Fourth?'

Hélène Grimaud, the French pianist, thought she had been booked to play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major this weekend with the Chicago Symphony, and said so during an interview with Bryant Manning of Time Out Chicago. Manning checked the orchestra's schedule. No, he told Grimaud, you're playing the "Emperor" Concerto.

A few hours later, a press release arrived from Grimaud's management: "An unfortunate miscommunication has occurred," and was discovered "too late for Ms. Grimaud to have time to prepare Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 to her satisfaction." So she canceled the Chicago engagement. The Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa will play the "Emperor" in Grimaud's place: