Most working people have occasionally called in sick. Or arrived at the office late after car trouble. No big deal. But for performing artists, the deal is very big indeed. That the show must go on is their mantra, their creed.
Considering our nearly 70-year history, the Los Alamos Concert Association has dealt with remarkably few situations where an artist could not appear as advertised. We are dealing with one of those rare occasions right now.
Daniel Binelli, the bandoneón virtuoso scheduled to perform here on March 15 with Cuarteto Latinoamericano has been forced to withdraw for medical reasons. I know from speaking with his agent that this is terribly frustrating for him. He will recover and perform again, but like all great artists, Mr. Binelli lives for that very special connection with his instrument and his audience.
For a concert presenter like LACA, having an artist cancel creates some challenges for sure. In this current instance, our main problem is that all our marketing materials are “out there”: posters, postcards, newspaper ads, everything with Mr. Binelli’s picture prominently displayed. So we have sent out press releases, email blasts, and Facebook updates. We hope that when people come to the hall for the concert they won’t be surprised or disappointed.
We are lucky to have an easy fix for this situation. Cuarteto Latinoamericano, that splendid champion of Latin American quartet repertoire, will perform as scheduled with a revised program.
Two other cancellations come to mind. In 1997, we booked the legendary Guarneri Quartet. This quartet had the unusual habit of never traveling together, each of the four gentlemen making their own travel arrangements. On the evening in question, a large audience filled the Smith Auditorium when LACA’s president and violinist Arnold Steinhardt came on stage to announce that violist Michael Tree was stranded by bad weather in Denver. Mr. Steinhardt was clearly shaken by having to make this announcement to a full hall, but he promised the quartet would return later in the season and they did.
In 2014 I got a call on a Saturday morning from the Cliburn Organization with a heads-up that their gold medalist, pianist Haochen Zhang might not get here for a Sunday afternoon performance. After a harrowing day involving a canceled flight, lost baggage and a wayward pair of contact lenses he was forced to bow out.
By some miracle, the Cliburn silver medalist, Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son (who was living in Germany) just happened to be in Fort Worth preparing for a recital later in the week. She was willing to fly, arrived Sunday morning and thrilled our audience in the afternoon. Haochen finally arrived on our stage a couple of season later and was splendid.
I’ve often thought that there must be a Goddess of Concert Presenters watching over us. But maybe it is just that these things happen, people pull together and the world does not come to an end.
For a quick taste of what Cuarteto Latinoamericano has in store for you, watch this beautiful video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Complete concert information at www.losalamosconcert.org and photos http://www.