Carnegie Hall, on the appointed afternoon, was a madhouse. The place was packed to the gills, with more than the ordinary concert-going crowd. There were famous musicians, including Itzhak Perlman and Marilyn Horne. There were billionaires and socialites. There was musical press from all over. And, of course, there were ordinary concertgoers. What’s more, the Met would broadcast the concert over the radio.
On the stage was a strange-looking structure: short walls, where the podium should be. Would the walls serve as a kind of enclosure for a wheelchair? I turned to the critic sitting behind me and said, “I have no idea how this will go. It could be a triumph or a disaster. I simply can’t predict.” Neither could she.