When Riccardo Muti dropped out of Saturday's Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the very last minute with a stomach bug, the band simply played on - without him.
Swapping some scheduled items for a Mozart symphony they'd performed earlier in the week, and allowing soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter to flap her arms around a bit during the Beethoven Violin Concerto, the CSO not only coped but "showed their mettle with a refined and worthy performance" according to the Chicago Classical Review.
A new option for any orchestra faced with swingeing cuts?
(thanks to Muti fan Maria for the tip off)
UPDATE - Maria also sent this video, where Muti presciently tells a group of young musicians exactly why a conductor is not necessary: