U.K. arts presenters ponder post-COVID world: social distancing, less touring, creative video, sanitized spaces

Posted on: May 12, 2020

“Classical music has entered a state of weird suspended animation” in the United Kingdom, writes Ivan Hewitt in Thursday’s (5/7) Daily Telegraph (U.K.). When the sector eventually reopens, “At London’s Southbank Centre … director of music Gillian Moore … is … thinking about social distancing in the hall. ‘That would mean that in the Royal Festival Hall, which seats 2,700 … we could seat 800. Franky, the economics of that are horrendous.’ … John Summers, the Hallé Orchestra’s chief executive, says, … ‘I think we’ll see more British artists working with more British orchestras, and less travelling.’ … Chi-chi Nwanoku, the double-bassist who founded the BME-majority orchestra Chineke!, says, … ‘I’m working on a joint digital [concert] for Chineke! with Sphinx, our sister organization in the US…. Composer and ‘Nonclassical’ concert series presenter Gabriel Prokofiev says … ‘We should think about working with animators to create clever animations that help people to follow the narrative the music, so the music can enter the Netflix domain.’ … Vasily Petrenko, chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, [is] … thinking about … ‘technologies that can help us to create large sanitized spaces … where both performers and audiences feel safe.’ ”