Seattle Symphony’s streamed music performances, bringing people together virtually during pandemic

Posted on: March 25, 2020

The Seattle Symphony onstage at its performance home, Benaroya Hall

“It had been a scary week in Seattle, then the center of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States,” writes Brooke Jarvis in Tuesday’s (3/24) Seattle Times. “When I heard that the Seattle Symphony, which had been ordered to close like everything else, would be livestreaming free concerts during the crisis, I almost cried. I had never actually been to one of its performances before…. But now … I couldn’t wait to watch. The performance felt symbolic: a declaration that connection and solidarity and collective beauty would continue…. Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 … felt like life, strange and confusing and funny and scary and beautiful, and still going on. In the chat box, people leaned into the surreality of the situation, making jokes about … whether ‘clap’ emojis are acceptable between movements … By the time it was over, nearly 90,000 people … had tuned in…. The symphony made plans for more shows … filmed in homes or the empty [concert] hall … and more livestreams of past performances. I knew I would want to watch them … the woodwinds making the soft sounds of nature and the brass section trumpeting victory, whatever that might mean now.”