ASO: Michael Stern with Marc-André Hamelin

Michael Stern looked kind of off this evening. The opening of his waistcoat started below his waist, his tails were either in need of a professional pressing or were poorly mended, his French cuffs were slightly crushed, and his thick hair was only almost well groomed. While conducting, he seemed to cue a lot more with his baton in his right hand than with his left — indeed, there were times where he seemed to forget that he had a left hand. And, while his cues were generally good, I’m glad that I don’t have to try to keep count by watching him since he often seemed to forget that he was supposed to be beating the rhythm as well as giving cues. He also had to take a breather after the first movement of the symphony on the program, which seemed a bit odd for someone who does this for a living and wasn’t showing any signs of illness.
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