Volcano or not, the show must go on


April 21, 2010 at 8:04 p.m.
Updated April 20, 2010 at 11:21 p.m.

While the ash cloud didn't reach Victoria, Iceland's volcanic blast disrupted local plans - at least at the Victoria Symphony.

Michelle Hall, the symphony's executive director, received a call on Sunday from a talent manager.

Robert Belinic, who was scheduled to perform in Victoria on Saturday, was stranded in Europe, the manager told Hall.

Flights were canceled to and from Europe after last week's volcanic ash blanketed skies.

Darryl One, the Victoria Symphony's music director, said he and others spent Monday searching for a replacement.

"We spent time trying to contact various classical guitarists that were here in the state of Texas," One said.

The music director contacted colleges and universities. Then, he contacted the Austin Classical Guitar Society.

"They actually had a guitarist who was stranded in Austin," Hall said.

Lorenzo Micheli, a guitar professor at the Conservatory of Aosta in Italy, was scheduled to leave for a performance in Italy after giving a series of Texas concerts. Like Belinic, Micheli was stranded half a world away from his next gig.

One contacted Micheli, who has been staying in Austin, to learn about the performer's familiarity with Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez," a classical guitar composition and part of the local Master Series 5.

Micheli told One he performed the musical composition last summer.

"It just worked out," said One.

The classical guitarist agreed to perform during Saturday's final concert of the local symphony's 36th season. He also agreed to perform for 90 high school students, Hall said.

Micheli will return to Italy after his local performance, which is scheduled for 8 p.m., Saturday at the Victoria College Auditorium, 2200 E. Red River St.



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