Heavily-hyped young Quebecois conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, 35, has withdrawn from what were to have been his début concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra next month, January 13 to 16, citing “personal reasons,” the CSO announced late Wednesday.
A darling at the Metropolitan Opera and the Salzburg Festival, Nézet-Séguin was recently named music director-designate of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was one of the few high-profile guest conductors engaged for Riccardo Muti’s first season as music director of the CSO.
No further information was available on the cancellation. The Philadelphia Orchestra website indicates that Nézet-Séguin is still scheduled to lead the Mozart Requiem and Debussy Nocturnes in three sold-out performances at Verizon Hall January 6 to 8 and that a Sunday matinée performance has been added on January 9. Nézet-Séguin's own website (which also still includes the now-cancelled Chicago dates -- Friday 31 December UPDATE: the Chicago dates have been taken down from the site, but without explanation) shows a non-stop, busy international schedule from January 19 on with engagements in London, Leipzig, Salzburg, Rotterdam, Rome, and Montreal, including débuts with the Gewandhaus and Santa Cecilia orchestras.
Juanjo Mena, 45, a Basque conductor who will take over the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester next season, will make his CSO début instead in the four concerts January 13 to 16, 2011. The program of Ravel, Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony, and Korngold’s Violin Concerto, with frequent Nézet-Séguin collaborator French violinist Renaud Capuçon, 34 going on 35, making his own CSO début, remains unchanged.