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Pianist Helene Grimaud: One off in Chicago

March 10, 2009 |  4:38 pm

GrimaudDone in by one digit: French pianist Hélène Grimaud canceled this weekend's planned performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when she discovered that she was scheduled to perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 instead of the composer's Piano Concerto No. 4.

You'd think that Grimaud would have been perhaps the first, not the last, to know what was on her program -- but according to Time Out Chicago blogger Brent DiCrescenzo, the Switzerland-based Grimaud discovered the disconcerting truth only during an interview with another Time Out writer, Bryant Manning, who assured Grimaud that the CSO program said she would be performing the "Emperor," Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto -- not the other one.

As DiCrescenzo tells it, Manning called the symphony to check the facts. And, within hours, the program on its website for the Friday-Sunday performances had subbed in Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisista for Grimaud.

Grimaud's management called the situation "an unfortunate miscommunication."

-- Diane Haithman

Photo: Hélène Grimaud. Credit: Henry Fair