Checking the date, you know what happened. Or, rather, didn’t happen. The Concertgebouw people had worked for years, literally, to coordinate the schedules of those four orchestras on those ten days, and the pandemic torpedoed it all, along with hundreds, thousands, millions of other performances and plans.
Trying valiently to plug the leak, the Concertgebouw rescheduled the festival for the following year with a different and somewhat more modest group of orchestras: Budapest, Munich, Hong Kong, London, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony. I was glad they were trying, but I wasn’t interested. As it turned out, the point was moot, because that festival was also canceled, owing to the continuing pandemic.
This isn’t a complaint; in fact, it’s the opposite. I’m pausing today to remember the magnificent plans and all the hours of work put in by the Concertgebouw staff to create the greatest music event of my life—not a gathering of Mahler fans in 2020 but a beautiful idea, lovingly created, floating just out of reach.