It's been three years since the vaunted Vienna Philharmonic has been to NYC - in pre-COVID times, they came here each year - but they'll be back this weekend with three concerts at Carnegie Hall. Dodging certain protests with the last-minute cancellation of Russian conductor Valery Gergiev - a known ally of Russian President/Dictator/Asshole Vladimir Putin - the concerts will instead be led by Met Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, in between rehearsals of Don Carlos at the Met.
Not the best timing with current events, but there will be a heavy-Russian theme to the three programs. Friday's concert - which will be live streamed by WQXR - features Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 and 2nd Piano Concerto (to be performed by Berlin-based pianist Seong-Jin Cho after Dennis Matsuev - another Putin partisan - also cancelled.) Saturday night's concert brings Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade alongside music by French Romantics Debussy and Ravel. And Sunday's matinée will offer Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Tchiakovsky's 6th Symphony. Is it possible to separate art from real life? We'll see.
Tickets for all three concerts are available at the box office and online.