Pianist cancels Philadelphia Orchestra concerts, Dutoit finds terrific replacement

Maurizio Pollini has canceled his May U.S. appearances for health reasons - including a set of concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra. These are Charles Dutoit's last three performances as chief of the Philadelphians, and in Pollini's place, the conductor has engaged a friend: Portuguese-born pianist Maria João Pires, who will be making her Philadelphia Orchestra debut.

The repertoire will change: instead of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, it will be Chopin's Concerto No. 2.

Pires is a major catch - hardly a pale stand-in for Pollini. A specialist in Mozart, Schubert and Chopin, she is a strong personality we're happy to be hearing.

The concerts - one of which is in Carnegie Hall - include Ravel's Daphnis and Chloé (complete version).

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