Laurie Niles has a hair-raising tale from Los Angeles Ballet:
On December 21, the night before five sold-out performances of the Nutcracker Ballet were to begin, the Los Angeles Ballet had a pretty serious problem: the orchestra had no conductor.
The orchestra – made up of veteran musicians who had played the ballet for many years – had just two rehearsals prior to the performances. This year, however, they did not have their regular conductor, and things weren’t coming together with the sub. Mid-way through the dress rehearsal, organizers decided that a radical change was necessary on the podium.
That’s when they asked concertmaster Bruce Dukov if he could step in and conduct the ballet. He immediately rejected the idea.
“I did take conducting at Juilliard, but my conducting is certainly not on the level to do a ballet,” Dukov told me. So Bruce turned around to the violinist sitting third chair: Armen Anassian….
Read on here.