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#516164 - 06/18/07 04:16 PM Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Music Student Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Claremont, CA
Greetings all,

Nearly a year ago the Los Angeles Philharmonic announced that Helene Grimaud would be performing a solo recital of in January 2007 at Walt Disney Hall.
The day of the recital, the Philharmonic Association called to announce that she had cancelled due to "a back injury."
The recital was then rescheduled for June 17th. After waiting six months, I was particularly excited to hear her last night... until she vanished mysteriously after the intermission and never returned!

Here's the chronology of events from my vantage point, seated in the first row of the behind-the-stage seating:

After the audience has been seated, a voice over a loudspeaker announces a program change;
Mme Grimaud will no longer be doing the Rachmaninoff 2nd Sonata, but will instead to the Brahms No. 2.

So the program will be:

Bach-Busoni Chaconne
Chopin Berceuse and Barcarolle

Intermission

Brahms Rhapsodies, Op 79
Brahms 2nd Sonata


At last, after six months, Mme Grimaud enters the stage to overwhelming applause and the loud shrieks/cheers of her rather cult-like following.

She smiles modestly and sits at the piano and the audience responds with the expected instant hush... at which point, not surprisingly, a cell phone goes off! (thankfully, it was before she'd played a note)

Mme Grimaud waits patiently before launching into an extremely compelling reading of the Bach-Busoni Chaconne which the audience answers with thundering applause, cheers, and some attempts at a standing ovation.

Mme Grimaud then proceeds with an enjoyable and sensitive rendition of the Berceuse before immediately launching into the Barcarolle without giving the audience time to interrupt her concentration with more thunderous applause.

Near the end of the Barcarolle, in one of the particularly thorny spots, Mme Grimaud plays a couple of audible clunkers, after which she appears to zip through the remainder of the piece with an apparent lack of interest or concentration.

She wastes little time sustaining the final chord for very long before she stands and walks straight off the stage, never to return.

After an agonizing two minutes of lights illuminating an empty stage, the house lights come back on and we all assume that we've made it to the intermission.

After seating ourselves again, a nervous man emerges from the wings to read a press statement:

"Due to illness, Miss Grimaud will be unable to finish her performance this evening. A representative from Audience Services will contact you by telephone within the next few days."

Suspecting that Miss Grimaud has simply caught an incurable strain of what Glenn Gould described as "Emperoritus", my companion and I walk out of the hall rather disgruntled, before we are nearly trampled by a bunch of burly EMT's carrying oxygen tanks, masks, and walkie-talkies. As they climb into their ambulance, my companion politely asks: "Were you here treating Miss Grimaud?" The EMT in the passenger seat frowns and looks around as if he's not supposed to tell us anything before he nods an affirmation and slams the door.

Anybody know what happened?

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#516165 - 06/18/07 06:38 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1999
Loc: South Jersey
I don't know what happened but the following link does talk about her contracting a form of pneumonia and resulting chronic fatigue syndrome. It sounds quite serious and debilitating.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/arts/m...=rssnyt&emc=rss
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA

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#516166 - 06/18/07 09:05 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Music Student Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Claremont, CA
Yikes. That does NOT sound good \:\(

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#516167 - 06/18/07 09:11 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Cherub Rocker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/06
Posts: 475
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Somebody on this forum complained about her playing a few days ago. Maybe she was sick already at that concert?
_________________________
Schubert: Impromptus Op. 90, Nos. 2 and 4
Chopin: Etudes Op. 25, Nos. 10-12
Scriabin: Sonata No. 2

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#516168 - 06/18/07 09:36 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
----
_________________________
Sam

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#516169 - 06/18/07 10:01 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
playadom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/06
Posts: 1366
Loc: New Jersey
Wow... That sounds dangerous. She's pretty young, too.
_________________________
Practice makes permanent - Perfect practice makes perfect.

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#516170 - 06/21/07 07:35 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
I tried to make it three times to a concert of hers in Holland in the late nineties. Each time she had called off at the last minute. Three times! I don't try giong to her concerts anymore.
She's mentally a bit uhmmm different from most people. She likes wolves (yes) over people. And said she does not have any sexual feelings what so ever.
I prefer pianists who play according to plan.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#516171 - 06/21/07 12:40 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
No sexual feelings? I doubt that, probably less but i doubt none at all. Probably she is just trying to make herself look more eccentric. But how many eccentric pianists still make it to their own concerts?

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#516172 - 06/21/07 01:30 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18545
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadMan86:
No sexual feelings? I doubt that, probably less but i doubt none at all. Probably she is just trying to make herself look more eccentric. [/b]
Are these known facts or just idle speculation?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#516173 - 06/21/07 06:21 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
phonehome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 921
No sexual feelings at all???


There go my plans for next June \:\(

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#516174 - 06/21/07 10:01 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1140
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Well, she keeps all those wolves; maybe they had a little dust-up...

Too bad, she was one of the more glamorous out there...looks great in all that Jean Paul Gaultier...

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#516175 - 06/21/07 10:14 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8996
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by phonehome:
No sexual feelings at all???
I find that rather doubtful. It seems to me that I read an interview with her several years back in Gramophone, and -at that point in time at least- there was a significant male in her life.

Sorry, phonehome... but aren't you a bit young for her? :p
_________________________
Jason

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#516176 - 06/21/07 10:19 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 419
Loc: Western US
 Quote:
Originally posted by playadom:
Wow... That sounds dangerous. She's pretty young, too. [/b]
Actually, she's young and pretty.

Bad news about her illness--sounds like she worked herself sick, which is easy to do on the road. Helene is a great talent and lovely person, and we wish her a speedy recovery.
_________________________
-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro

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#516177 - 06/22/07 12:21 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Music Student Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Claremont, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by phonehome:
No sexual feelings at all???
I find that rather doubtful. It seems to me that I read an interview with her several years back in Gramophone, and -at that point in time at least- there was a significant male in her life.

Sorry, phonehome... but aren't you a bit young for her? :p [/b]
The New York Times refered to photographer J. Henry Fair as her partner in the past tense... ;\)

Here's what the LA Times had to say about Sunday evening:

 Quote:
Adam Crane, director of public relations for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which was presenting the recital, wrote in an e-mail later Sunday that Grimaud, 37, had "said she felt dizzy and had spotty vision when she realized that she could not continue." He added that "she wanted to go back on stage, but couldn't regain enough strength to complete her program."
Grimaud was treated backstage Sunday by a Disney Hall medical technician, and Crane said Monday afternoon that after visiting the Philharmonic's regular physician earlier in the day, she had reported that the incident was related to a heart arrhythmia from which she suffers and that she planned to return to her home in Europe and consult her own doctors.

Sunday's events marked the second time this season that health problems had interfered with a Disney Hall appearance by Grimaud. Her recital had been rescheduled from its original date of Jan. 10, which she canceled because of back problems.

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#516178 - 06/22/07 04:22 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
Why do you many forum members respond in such a juvenile way about the sad fact that she said to have "No sexual feelings what so ever" around 1998. Maybe she has changed in this respect. Whatever. It's more important that she plays according to her contracts. And it's sad to read she still doesn't perform according to plan.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#516179 - 06/22/07 12:12 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Music Student Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Claremont, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
Why do you many forum members respond in such a juvenile way about the sad fact that she said to have "No sexual feelings what so ever" around 1998. Maybe she has changed in this respect. Whatever. It's more important that she plays according to her contracts. And it's sad to read she still doesn't perform according to plan. [/b]
I'm with you all the way, Robert. Thanks for redirecting this discussion back to the original topic.

Does anyone know anything about how such performers' contracts work at this level?
I'd be curious to know how the politics of such a cancellation play out...

I just received a voicemail from the Philharmonic notifying me that I will receive a voucher redeemable for a pair of tickets to a performance of my choice next season. Unfortunately, however, I gather that certain restrictions apply to which performances I choose to attend-- hopefully the Colburn Celebrity Recital Series (Perlman, Lang Lang, Schiff, Midori, Mutter) will be included as Schiff is doing the first half of a complete Beethoven cycle in '07-'08.

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#516180 - 06/22/07 05:38 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
phonehome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 921
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
Why do you many forum members respond in such a juvenile way about the sad fact that she said to have "No sexual feelings what so ever" around 1998. Maybe she has changed in this respect. Whatever. It's more important that she plays according to her contracts. And it's sad to read she still doesn't perform according to plan. [/b]
Just trying to add a little humor to the mix. Soooorrrrryyyyyyyy

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#516181 - 06/22/07 05:41 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Anonymous
Unregistered


Maybe she suffers migraines.

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#516182 - 06/22/07 05:52 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
I suspect lycanthropy.

(apologies in advance - another attempt at humor)
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#516183 - 06/22/07 06:05 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by whippen boy:
I suspect lycanthropy. [/b]
_________________________
Sam

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#516184 - 06/22/07 09:06 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
CherryCoke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 531
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
Why do you many forum members respond in such a juvenile way about the sad fact that she said to have "No sexual feelings what so ever" around 1998. Maybe she has changed in this respect. Whatever. It's more important that she plays according to her contracts. And it's sad to read she still doesn't perform according to plan. [/b]
You're the one who brought it up. You need to lighten up anyway. And, if she's really suffering from a chronic illness, maybe you should back off of her for not living up to her rigorous performance contract.

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#516185 - 06/22/07 09:38 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Hmmmm, I have always looked at it as a matter of its your job. There are certain things you cannot get away with at any job. Why is it we should be any different.
We shouldnt. So here is both sides. Her cancelling her concerts is inexcuasable she is not living up to her contract that she signed.

But I can understand the other side of being ill. In my personal life this last year I have delt with serious depression problem. That affected myown musical studies. It got so bad that i took some anti depressents it had the wrong effect. I totally stopped playing. And doing jsut everything. I am not allowed to go back to school until the spring. Turns out I had some serious trouble with my thyroid that was cause almost every problem I have had in recent years. I do not say this because i want attention. I say this to say, I understand. Even if what i said before about maybe she does it to look eccentric. Doesnt change the point ath we can have illnesses that are physical or mental that cause us some problem.

I had other thoughts on the sexual things... That are actually mature thoughts. I wonder how effective she can be music. I have a belief that music takes from everything in life. Even sexual. I have no doubt that there is not music written by some of the masters. That isnt erotic in its meaning. I do not mean how some peopel say the rach 2 is the msot erotic sounding music. I mean erotic in nature, in feeling.. Not in sound. I think there is alot of it out there.

Now of course this is just my personal opinion. You may share it you may not. That is ok. I rather enjoy Helene Grimaud's recordings. Was upset when i didnt get to see her play the schumann concerto in chicago. I wasnt the only one to make a comment but I want to apologize for any problem any of my remarks caused.

Jeffrey

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#516186 - 06/22/07 11:51 PM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8996
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by SPS:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
Why do you many forum members respond in such a juvenile way about the sad fact that she said to have "No sexual feelings what so ever" around 1998. Maybe she has changed in this respect. Whatever. It's more important that she plays according to her contracts. And it's sad to read she still doesn't perform according to plan.
You're the one who brought it up. You need to lighten up anyway. And, if she's really suffering from a chronic illness, maybe you should back off of her for not living up to her rigorous performance contract.
Tut-tut, Robert, you certainly did[/b] bring that up, and I find your use of the word "juvenile" inappropriate under the circumstances. One trusts, anyway, that it wasn't in reference to my post.

For all we know, there may be some connection between Ms. Grimaud's emotional/sexual state and her physical ability to live up to contracts. We do not know, but we do[/b] know that she is not normal like the rest of us. She is a great, charismatic performer; that takes its toll and, alas, there are going to be complications with missed concerts.

This stuff happens in the pop and jazz world continually, which is why one always needs to call a venue beforehand to check if that particular performer is actually going to make an appearance.

Martha Argerich has certainly cancelled her share of concerts -and that is most disappointing to all involved- yet she is not a robot, she is not a trained monkey, she is a complex human with an unbelievable reputation to live up to. Can that be easy on her? Of course not.
_________________________
Jason

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#516187 - 06/23/07 01:10 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13825
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The Moderator is Watching.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#516188 - 06/23/07 01:38 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8996
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
The Moderator is Watching.
Rather cryptic, wouldn't you say? Being a moderator on another -quite different board- I understand, but what is it about this thread that is causing the flags to go up? Certainly there have been more dodgy posts on other threads, yet I do not feel things are getting out of line on this one.

However, if so, a PM would be welcome. Fair enough?
_________________________
Jason

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#516189 - 06/23/07 01:39 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Beethoven Virus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 8
What kind of professional just cancels their concerts/recitals or walks off stage to not return? Is she just trying to be different or something? Same thing with the no sexual feelings thing... everyone has to have a quirk don't they? Why can't people just be confident in themselves. To be a real performer you can't rely on stunts or other quirks if you are really a professional.

Sounds to me like she can't handle it. And so be it. If she can't do it, then she can't and probably shouldn't be.

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#516190 - 06/23/07 01:46 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
crazydude86 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4
Loc: vermont
I agree with beethoven virus. Being a pianist is jsut another occupation. If you cannot do it someone else can. People like that are not as irreplaceable as they might think. At least gould when he left the concert staged made himself usefull with his recordings. Grimaud has no where near his output. And what she has is subpar on many levels. She lacks strength and conviction that other pianists have. So what if she is pretty it doesnt matter. It seems obvious she is not up to the task. So why dont we talk about someone who is.

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#516191 - 06/23/07 02:02 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13825
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Sorry for being cryptic. I just didn't want the topic to get out of hand. It started as a "what happened thread" and turned into speculation on Grimaud's personal life and a discussion on professional ethics.

I'm just hoping the speculation doesn't get too speculative and that the professional ethics discussion remains professional.

That's all. Keep talkin'!
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#516192 - 06/23/07 02:35 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8996
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Pursuant to Kreisler's post, I'll simply disagree with Beethoven Virus and crazydude86. Both of you seem to have all the answers, nice and compactly stated. Good on ya. Things are so simple aren't they?

Off to a different thread wherein there might be some more intelligent discourse.
_________________________
Jason

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#516193 - 06/23/07 02:43 AM Re: Helene Grimaud's mysterious disappearance
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
As I see this problem,none of us can know,but only guess what another person feels and senses, or indeed what mental problems they have.

If this musician is so good, as it appears, she would not want to have these upsets in her performance. I think we can only wait and see if professional treatment,if she has any, can diagnose the matter.

In the meanwhile I would take her side until she gets better from this ailment.

A famous male jazz pianist/composer got a very rare mental breakdown some years ago but is now fully cured.

Alan (swingal)

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