Classical WETA's ongoing series featuring performances from the National Symphony Orchestra, hosted by Nicole Lacroix. This special radio series is made possible by WETA's Friends of Classical Music, including Patricia Sagon. The National Symphony Orchestra’s radio programs are generously supported in part by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
In Memoriam Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
NSO Showcase pays tribute to the Maestro on the first anniversary of his death
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 9:00pm
On Friday evening, March 14th, less than three months before his death from cancer the following June, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducted the National Symphony Orchestra in the second of three subscription concerts. The Kennedy Center Concert Hall was packed. All seemed well as the Maestro began conducting the last piece on the program, Respighi’s orchestral showpiece, The Pines of Rome. The Washington Post’s Philip Kennicott was there:
[Despite a noticeable weakening during the third movement of the piece]…Frühbeck was obviously determined not to deny the audience the rousing pleasure of Respighi’s potboiler. He grabbed at the metal rail behind him and stood even as the orchestra began to trail off, not sure whether he was well enough to continue. He obviously wasn’t, but he continued anyway, cueing the percussion and brass with a few sharp gestures above his head as he sat, slumped, on the podium. A few moments before the end of the piece, he stood up and conducted its last moments. The audience response was thunderous. Frühbeck turned and faced them, gave a wan smile, then left the stage. When he returned to acknowledge the ovation, many of the musicians, half or a third of his age, were in tears.
Classical WETA’s NSO Showcase tribute to Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos will feature three works from the March, 2014 Kennedy Center performances: Two Nocturnes by Debussy, El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla with mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, and the Respighi Pines of Rome. We’ll also hear the Maestro conduct the NSO in Beethoven’s 6th Symphony from an April 2006 concert.
Join us to celebrate the Maestro who won so many hearts in Washington during his eight-year tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, as we dedicate the June NSO Showcase to his memory.