Testy Conductor Walks Out in a Huff

The music director of the Cleveland Orchestra is Franz Welser-Most. He has also been the music director of the Vienna State Opera, until just days ago. It appears that Most got into a fist fight with one of the bureaucrats, and — oh, wait, it wasn’t a fight. Actually he had an artistic or bureaucratic dispute with the administration and/ or with the ballet company choreographer and Most just up and left. There was no fist fight. But can you imagine that? Anyway, his cushy job with the Cleveland Orchestra is safe, so he need not worry.

But I wonder if Andris Nelson’s debut as music director with the Boston Symphony will go on as scheduled, on September 27th, given how volatile these situations are now. These conductors, or artists in general, are really touchy. But with Nelsons, you see, last year his appearance at Tanglewood was cancelled because he got whacked in the head by a door and got concussion. (Yes, that really happened!) But supposedly Nelsons is a “rising star” according to a London newspaper. He’s only 35, or almost 36. Former Boston Symphony music director Seiji Ozawa is 79, and he’s still conducting, regardless of his poor health. Ozawa is someone who takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. (That’s an old phrase from the Timex commercials, in case you’re too young to have seen them.)


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