Pianist collapses backstage at Hult

By Mark Baker | Local News | |

One of five siblings had to leave in the middle of a Bach Festival performance

“The show must go on” is an old show-biz saying that the 5 Browns took to heart Thursday night at the Hult Center.

The five piano-playing siblings from Utah had to perform the second half of their concert at the Oregon Bach Festival without their eldest sibling, 33-year-old Desirae Brown, who left the stage in the middle of a piece.

Brown “collapsed back stage and had no energy,” Steven Gates, the group’s personal representative, said by phone from New York City on Friday.

“She’s doing much better now,” Gates said. “She’d been sick all week and that leads to dehydration and under the lights she just couldn’t keep going.”

Brown was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend and treated for dehydration, OBF spokesman George Evano said.

“It was pretty crazy,” said Evano, who was in Bend Thursday night for the festival’s “Tango Harmonica” performance at the Tower Theatre. “From everything I found out, she’s basically doing well.” he said.

After receiving fluids intravenously at RiverBend, Brown was released Thursday night and flew to San Francisco on Friday to meet her husband and attend a wedding, Gates said.

It was during a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” that Brown began feeling poorly, Evano said.

Her four siblings, Deondra, 32, Gregory, 29, Melody, 28, and Ryan, 26, regrouped and modified the second half of the performance to reflect the absence of their older sister, Evano said.

Gregory Brown made an announcement after intermission to let the audience know what happened, he said.

The siblings were all trained at the prestigious Juilliard School, the New York City performing arts conservatory, and were reportedly the first family of five siblings ever accepted simultaneously.

They perform a variety of music from classical favorites to scores from hit Hollywood films simultaneously on matching Steinway pianos.

Some who attended Thursday’s performance posted comments on the 5 Browns’ Facebook page, asking about Desirae Brown’s health and wishing her well.