Taiwan’s National Symphony performs for audience of 500, in 2,000-seat hall

Posted on: May 28, 2020

“The staff have been diligently disinfecting all the equipment. Temperature checks have been completed on everybody. Face masks are at the ready,” writes Richard Fairman in Tuesday’s (5/26) Financial Times (U.K.). “This is not the scene in a hospital operating theatre, but backstage [before] the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan came out on stage to play on Sunday night … after months of the coronavirus lockdown…. ‘The situation is quite good here now in Taiwan,’ says Lydia Wen-Chen Kuo, executive director of the National Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan Philharmonic)…. This first concert was already planned with 30 musicians and an audience of 500 in a 2,000-capacity hall. By mid-June, though, it is hoped that an orchestra of 70 or 80 will be playing to 1,000 people.… In classical music, an international business, there are wide discrepancies.… ‘We are looking at a September or October start,’ … says Andrea Zietzschmann, general manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker.… In New York, it will be the state governor who decides when concert halls can open…. ‘We must use this experience to change everything for the better,’ says Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall. ‘Improving and transforming what we do will be crucial for everybody’s future.’ ”