It takes a lot to make the New York Philharmonic skip a beat. But it was so hot in the Bronx last Tuesday night that the esteemed orchestra skipped an entire Dvorak concerto.
Hours before the concert was to begin in Van Cortlandt Park, with temperatures in the 90s and a National Weather Service heat advisory, orchestra officials decided to skip the Dvorak and play only Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.
Players performed in short-sleeved shirts, and music director Alan Gilbert conducted sans jacket. According to The New York Times, some almost passed out, despite taking bottles of water and wet towels on stage.
You’d think the audience would be understanding. They, too, were in the heat.
But instead the orchestra was booed and people chanted “We want Dvorak” after the Tchaikovsky ended.
Let’s hope we know better in the South.
First, it’s highly unlikely the Charleston Symphony Orchestra would perform outside in July.
And second, people for whom temperatures in the 90s are commonplace understand that heat can make people sick or kill them.
Besides, we certainly hope that a local audience would refrain from booing and show appreciation for the performers — especially when the concert is free.