UPDATE: Following back surgery on Wednesday, Gianandrea Noseda, the incoming music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, announced today that he was canceling his inaugural concerts in Washington on July 28 and 29.
Noseda suffered a herniated disk Monday while conducting a run of Verdi’s opera “Macbeth” at his home company in Torino, Italy. He had emergency surgery Wednesday and is recovering at home in Torino. His doctor, Michele Naddeo, said the prognosis was good for a full recovery.
Noseda was scheduled to lead “Carmina Burana” at Wolf Trap on July 28 and a free concert on the Mall on July 29 celebrating his official accession as NSO music director. The Mall concert was to have been combined with events surrounding National Dance Day. National Dance Day will now be held at the Kennedy Center, starting at 2 p.m. July 29. A replacement conductor for the Wolf Trap performance, which involves members of eight choruses from across the city as a special gesture for Noseda’s arrival, is still to be announced.
“I am saddened to have to cancel all of my performances until the middle of August,” Noseda said in a statement from his home. “However, [wife] Lucia and I have decided to follow very carefully the advice of Prof. Naddeo and that it would be best to take this time for me to make a full and complete recovery so I am physically prepared for the Teatrio Regio Torino’s historic residency at the Edinburgh International Festival in the second half of August and to start my new position as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra.”
Noseda’s other engagements this summer included the Verbier Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Ravinia Festival and the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, where he became the first foreign-born principal guest conductor of the Mariinsky Theater in 1997, launching his international career.
Noseda’s first official concert with the NSO as the orchestra’s music director will now be the season-opening gala Sept. 24, which celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, with Yo-Yo Ma and Cynthia Erivo. Noseda also said today he would conduct a free concert in Washington at a later date.
“Carmina Burana” at Wolf Trap will still involve a rare collaboration of 250 singers from Washington-area choruses. Last week marked the start of rehearsals for a blended chorus of more than 120 members of the Washington Chorus and the Choral Arts Society, who will sing the bulk of the score. They will be joined in some movements by members of the Capitol Hill Chorale, the Fairfax Choral Society, the chorus of George Mason University, the Heritage Signature Chorale and the Reston Chorale, as well as the Children’s Chorus of Washington. The pianist Seong-Jin Cho will be the soloist in Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto on the first half of the program.