[Dixielandjazz] Cutting it close

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 16 08:51:20 PDT 2004

Many working jazz musicians book multiple gigs for the same day and then
rush from one to the next. A fact of making a living. They are not alone,
see below article.

Note also that Mr. Ohlsson has played both featured concertos more than 100
times. Yet he doesn't bitch about being bored, like some of us do with
"Saints" or "Bill Bailey", even though he would have less freedom to
improvise. Hmmmmmmmmm. ;-) VBG.

Steve Barbone (Who a while back, at age 62 worked gigs in Oregon and
Pennsylvania, 2800 miles apart on the same day)

October 16, 2004 - NY TIMES - By DANIEL J. WAKIN

Fastest Way From Chopin to Brahms? A Getaway Car

If there were a piano Olympics, the pianist Garrick Ohlsson would enter the
biathlon - biathlon as in concerto playing and racing around New Jersey.

Mr. Ohlsson has long been scheduled to play Chopin's First Piano Concerto at
Montclair State University with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on Friday. But
because of a mix-up, he was later booked to play Brahms's First Piano
Concerto at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark with the Leipzig
Gewandhaus Orchestra the same night.

A satisfactory substitute in the Brahms - one of the more challenging works
in the repertory - could not be found. What to do?

Orpheus and the Montclair presenters agreed to start their concert a
half-hour earlier and move the Chopin from the second half of the program to
the start; the Gewandhaus and the Newark presenters agreed to move the
Brahms to the second half. Mr. Ohlsson expects to be done in Montclair by
8:15, he said recently, with about an hour before the baton drop in Newark,
12 miles away.

"The getaway car will be waiting with the engine running and will drive me
up to Newark," he said. "I'll get to Newark, have a glass of water and take
a deep breath." No need even to change clothes.

He said he did not see the performances as a particular feat but was mainly
worried about keeping his concentration during the trip in between. At 56,
he has played each concerto more than 100 times, and the musical energy
needed for one concerto equals that for half a solo recital, he said.

Mr. Ohlsson added that he would go into the game a crowd favorite for making
the effort. "Once I get to the piano bench in Newark, I'm a hero even if I
don't play my best - of course, I'll try my best."

The mix-up was the result of a misplaced e-mail message to Columbia Artists
Management in New York, which represents the Leipzig orchestra. Columbia
Artists said it had lost the message from Mr. Ohlsson's European management
warning of the conflict.

Mr. Ohlsson is by no means the first musician to pull a double shift. Just
last April, Louis Lortie substituted for Martha Argerich in Schumann's Piano
Concerto with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, then raced
across Central Park to play a solo recital at the Metropolitan Museum. He,
too, had a getaway limousine, but he said at the time that a cab would have
been cheaper.

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