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Royal Danish Academy musicians rehearse with their Queens College counterparts.

 Nw York Times, 10/28/2012

Royal Danish Academy.png

On one side of the police barricade at West 57th Street and the Avenue of the Americas: an oboe, a flute, a French horn, a bassoon and two clarinets.

On the other side stood Max Artved and his students from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen — Ragnhildur Josefsdottir, Anne Sophie Jensen, Arvid Larsson, Soren-Filip Hansen and Morten S. Jensen — pleading in vain to be reunited with the instruments and baggage they left behind on Monday after they’d checked into the Salisbury Hotel, 123 West 57th Street.

They had been dining at a nearby Italian restaurant Monday when a tower crane boom upended near the top of the 73-story One57 apartment tower at 157 West 57th Street. They heard a tremendous crash. The next thing they knew, firefighters were ordering them out of the restaurant. They ran out into the storm as debris rained down on the street. “It was like an action movie,” Mr. Artved said. But when a police officer ordered them off the block altogether, it dawned on the visitors that this particular movie wouldn’t have a happy ending, at least right away.

They found new lodging quickly enough, though they had to spend the first night together in one room. And they watched suspiciously as the daily rate increased from $200 a night to $400 a night. They canceled a concert of Danish music at Flushing Town Hall. They returned time after time to the barricade, seeking admission to the frozen zone. “We know almost every policeman in New York,” Mr. Artved said. “Without going to prison.”

Finally, on Thursday evening, the Office of Emergency Management and the Police Department allowed residents and hotel guests from the frozen zone to return briefly to their buildings, though the boom still hung ominously overhead. That meant the musicians would be able at least to show up Friday at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. There was some anxiety in their rejoicing, as they anticipated the difficulty of performing Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 in B flat major, the “Gran Partita,” with their counterparts from Queens College.

“We haven’t been able to play one note since Monday,” said Ms. Josefsdottir, the flutist. To which Mr. Jensen, one of the clarinetists, added, “Now, we’re totally out of shape.”

This being New York, however, the show went on. Prof. Edward Smaldone, the director of the Queens College music school, reported Friday morning that the trans-Atlantic ensemble had successfully convened, though the college was still without power. In deference to the circumstances, what was to have been a concert became an open rehearsal instead.

“We have all been inspired to persevere,” Professor Smaldone said, “and we will finally get to play today, just a few hours before they are due at J.F.K. for their flight home."


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