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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2018 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The (Carnegie) Halls of Medicine

Michael Tilson Thomas to step in with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
This is in no way an endorsement of any expectorant.
Image of Michael Tilson Thomas from the conductor's official website.
Ricola cough drops and Swiss background from the official Ricola website.
Photoshop by the author.
In a late-breaking story, the Philadelphia Orchestra's Friday night Carnegie Hall concert has had a change of conductor and program. Yannick Nézet-Séguin has a sinus infection and will not conduct this week.

The program still features Berlioz' Symphonie-fantastique, but the first half has been changed. At the request of soloist Hélene Grimaud, the orchestra has agreed to substitute Brahms' First Piano Concerto instead of the Second. (These changes also affect the Orchestra's subscription concerts this week at Verizon Hall.)

His replacement is acclaimed San Francisco Symphony music director Michael Tilson Thomas, who was last here in November with that ensemble playing Mahler's Ninth Symphony. Mr. Tilson Thomas is a protége of the late New York Philharmonic music director Leonard Bernstein, and has always been a popular conductor in this city.

The conductor hit headlines earlier this month at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. While leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's Ninth Symphony, (Why is it always the Mahler 9?--Ed.) he responded to a fit of coughing from the audience in a unique manner. Between movements, Mr. Tilson Thomas left the stage returning with his hands full of cough drops. He then tossed the lozenges into the lower orchestral seating, encouraging audience members to pass them to their neighbors if needed. (Note: the facts in this paragraph are sourced from stories on The Classical Review and WQXR.Org.

Luckily for conductor and audience, Carnegie Hall supplies attendees with free Ricola® cough drops in dispensers located conveniently at the back of the Parquet seating and elsewhere outside the auditorium.

Ricola is the official cough drop of Carnegie Hall.

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.