This is one of the oddest cancellation announcements we have seen:
Change of Cast
Max Richter has unfortunately had to cancel his appearance in tonight’s concert due to private reasons. The program will remain unchanged, the electronic part of “The Four Seasons recomposed” will be played out from the mixing desk.
Er, excuse me? I’ve just paid a zillion Swiss francs to a ticket to hear someone play a record? Explanation required.
UPDATE: In the absence of an explanation from the festival, we have heard from Daniel Hope, one of the performers at the concert. He was informed by Max Richter the night before the concert that a member of his immediate family had become seriously ill – understandably, he wanted to be with them.
Daniel adds: There have always been 2 versions of “Vivaldi Recomposed”: the first is for violin, string orchestra, full electronics and keyboards performed by Max Richter; the second is an acoustic version for Violin and Strings only, non-amplified. This second version has enjoyed equal success and we have performed it this summer at the festivals of Aspen, Ravinia, Strasbourg and the Bristol Proms. Given the situation yesterday, it would have been simplest for us to revert to the acoustic version. However, Max did not want to let down the audience in Lucerne any more, and therefore generously sent us his own sound engineer from London yesterday morning. In discussion with the composer, he was able to re-create a portion of Max’s electronics and blend them into our live performance, which in turn was amplified. Naturally, many die-hard Max Richter fans were disappointed not to see and hear him live, but everyone to whom I spoke wishes Max and his family all the very best in this difficult time, as do I and all my colleagues in the Festival Strings Lucerne. The ticket prices for this concert ranged from SFR 30 (£20) to SFR 100 (£69), and all ticket holders could bring one person up to the age of 17 for free.