Golijov out, BBC Young Generation Artist in

Soprano Dawn Upshaw (left) has been forced to withdraw from this evening's (August 24) BBC Prom performance with the Minnesota Orchestra of Osvaldo Golijov’s Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra due to illness. Dawn Upshaw has issued the following statement: “I am sorry and disappointed not to be able to perform Osvaldo Golijov’s Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra at the BBC Proms. This music has touched me and my Minnesota colleagues deeply, and singing at the Royal Albert Hall is an unforgettable experience. I look forward to returning to London soon with this wonderful music.”

Since Golijov wrote these songs specifically for Dawn Upshaw, the BBC have had to change the programme, as there is not time for another soprano to learn and rehearse them. Pianist Llyr Williams is the last minute substitute in the rather surprising choice of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3. The little-known Williams is one of the BBC's in-house stable of Young Generation Artists who benefit from broadcast and performance opportunities via BBC Radio 3. The BBC website says 'The scheme offers 12 young artists or groups unique opportunities across the network to develop their considerable talents.' As part of the scheme Radio 3 has also set up a collaborative venture with EMI Classics, (see my article The hidden power of the music super agents). This has so far resulted in nine co-produced CDs in the EMI Debut series, three of which (Belcea Quartet, Simon Trpceski and Jonathan Lemalu) have won Gramophone Awards for the best Debut CD of the year. And a number of New Generation Artists have contributed to cover CDs for BBC Music Magazine.

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