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For NHSO, the show must go on – even without the soloist

Leora Zeitlin

As every performer and conductor knows, you have to be prepared for the unexpected: a slip of the memory, a violin string snapping, or a last-minute cancellation by a soloist. That’s what conductor Dr. Marianna Gabbi faced this week, when her long-time friend, acclaimed classical guitarist Javier Calderon, was suddenly hospitalized and had to cancel his concert this weekend with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra.

“This is absolutely a first for me. I have never had something like this happen,” the conductor explained in this interview with KRWG’s Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, who also plays in the community orchestra. “When you go through an agent, they have to replace for you,” she said. “But Javier was waiving his fee. He wasn’t charging us. He was doing it as a favor to me.” The orchestra was scheduled to play the “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo with Calderon, and Gabbi had programmed other pieces to go along with it, including works by the Mexican composers Arturo Marquez and Jose Moncayo.

Gabbi noted that those pieces will still be on the program, along with several works that feature local soloists and conductors, including horn player Cora Patterson, trombonist Lynn Enright, and conductors Joseph Flores and Kathy Hill. But because of Calderon’s cancellation, “we are going to have to make a tour change,” Gabbi said, adding that instead of finishing the concert with the Spanish concerto, "we're going to make a deviation and go to Austria and Vienna." The orchestra will conclude the concert with two famous works by Johann Strauss, Jr. The free concert takes place on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Atkinson Recital Hall.

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