Last-minute podium switch at West Virginia Symphony, due to COVID-19

Posted on: January 14, 2022

Mélisse Brunet will conduct the West Virginia Symphony this weekend, substituting for Music Director Lawrence Loh.

Conductor Mélisse Brunet “is filling in for West Virginia Symphony music director Lawrence Loh, who will miss the symphony’s first show of 2022 Saturday night at the Clay Center after contracting a mild case of COVID-19,” writes Bill Lynch in Thursday’s (1/13) Charleston Gazette-Mail (WV). “Brunet will be conducting the orchestra through its ‘Winter Stories’ program, which includes a side-by-side performance with the West Virginia Youth Symphony. The show also features flutist and Astral Artist Annie Wu, who will be debuting contemporary composer Kevin Puts’ Flute Concerto. It’s a lot to take on…. Speaking over the phone from her home in Iowa, Brunet … said this was the second time in about a month that she’s been asked to fill in for another conductor…. Filling in for another conductor on short notice is a challenge. There’s not a lot of wiggle room with changing programs…. ‘Sometimes, you don’t even have the score at home,’ Brunet said. … Brunet said she wasn’t overly familiar with [the Puts Flute Concerto]. ‘But it’s such a great piece,’ she said. ‘The orchestra has prepared it. The guest has prepared it, and I thought it was such a great piece.’ ”