John Oliver, Founder and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, had prepared the chorus to perform Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Boston Symphony, to be conducted by Kurt Masur. After his piano rehearsal with the chorus and 3 orchestra rehearsals, Mr. Masur (he hates the title "maestro") determined that his health was just too frail for this massive, demanding work. BSO management decided to turn the 3 Boston performances over to Mo. Oliver, who had a single 2-hour rehearsal to pull things together. His first complete run through was the opening night performance.
The unresolved question at that point was "Who will conduct the performance next week at Carnegie Hall?" The symphony players voted to request Mo. Oliver, management agreed, but the Carnegie Hall management needed to give the OK too. It seems they want "name" orchestras to be conducted by "name" conductors when they play their revered hall, especially Boston, who has been plagued with subs due to Mo. Levine's rough health the past several years. Mark Volpe, BSO Managing Director, successfully made the case, and Carnegie agreed to the replacement.
And thus John Oliver will make his Carnegie Hall debut this Tuesday, March 6th.