April 30, 2012 Leave a comment
I had been really looking forward to these concerts. It was supposed to feature two masterful Spaniards in a night featuring a good chunk of Spanish music. Unfortunately, that went by the wayside as Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, conductor and friend of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, cancelled for health reasons. Pepe Romero, the distinguished guitarist (not to mention USC Thornton School professor and Spanish Knight in the order of Queen Isabella), was still scheduled to perform the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo. But who to conduct the program?
I poked a little fun at the Pacific Symphony when they puffed that the “renowned conductor Christoph König” would be joining them this season. Mind you, I didn’t have any problem with the conductor himself, but to call him “renowned” was (and still is) a bit of stretch. As it turned out, his appearances in Orange County this past February turned out to be well received (Tim Mangan’s review HERE). So it was with great interest that I saw that the young German would be stepping into the breach for Mr. Frühbeck, umlaut for umlaut, for four concerts with the LA Phil: three at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and — as irony, shrewd decision-making, and/or just damn luck would have it — one concert back at the site of his first local success, Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County.
So, despite the new conductor and slight change in the program, I stuck with my plan and went to the concert anyway. Good move. Mr. Romero was the star, but Mr. König acquitted himself rather nicely too, thank you very much.