by Paul Pelkonen
Maurizio Pollini lights up in London.
Perhaps he heard about Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban?
This is the second year in a row that Mr. Pollini has been forced to cancel his U.S. obligations. A similar announcement appeared in the New York Times in March of last year. A set of concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra has also been nixed.
Mr. Pollini will be replaced for the April 29 concert by American soloist Garrick Ohlsson, who has agreed to do an all-Liszt recital at the Sunday afternoon concert. This will be the second such program by Mr. Ohlsson in New York this year. A review of the artist's January recital at the 92nd St. Y is here on Superconductor.
For the May 6 performance, Canadian pianist Louis Lortie will play two sonatas by Beethoven (the Waldstein and Les Adieux) and a selection of Chopin.
At the May 18 concert at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Pollini's substitute will be the award-winning Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires. Ms. Pires will play the Second Chopin Piano Concerto, accompanied by Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra. This concert is part of an ongoing celebration of Mr. Dutoit's tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is stepping down at the end of this season to make way for incoming music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.