When “pingdemic” rules out Rachel Podger, up steps Bojan Cicic at three hours’ notice… to perform exactly the same repertoire!

Rachel Podger: Had to self-isolate after being pinged

QUICK thinking by York Early Music Festival director Delma Tomlin saved the day when violinist Rachel Podger fell victim to the dreaded “pingdemic”.

Rachel had to self-isolate at the last minute, foregoing her 9.15pm live performance of The Violinist Speaks at St Lawrence’s Church, Hull Road, on July 13.

In a flash, Delma asked Croatian-born Baroque violinist Bojan Cicic to step into the breach, as he had arrived in York already to perform with Florilegium at the National Centre for Early Music the following night.

Bojan Cicic: Took over solo concert programme at three hours’ notice

Not only did he say ‘Yes’ at only three hours’ notice, but also he played the very same repertoire that Rachel had selected: JS Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G major; Giuseppe Tartini’s Sonata in B minor; Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s Passacaglia in G minor, for solo violin, and Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor, for solo violin.

Nothing was announced on social media beforehand by the festival organisers; only the audience was alerted of the late change by email, whereupon Bojan duly “wowed” his socially distanced crowd.

Rachel subsequently recorded The Violinist Speaks without an audience at the NCEM for a digital livestream premiere at 7.30pm last Saturday. Her online concert is now available on demand until August 13; on sale until August 9 at:  ncem.co.uk/events/rachel-podger-online/ncem.co.uk

Quick thinking: York Early Music Festival director Delma Tomlin

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