Lost in space: when music-making moves online

Posted on: August 26, 2020

“After a jam-packed concert season and a slew of summer festivals, everything seems to stop for a bit before the ramp-up to fall,” writes Anthony Tommasini in Sunday’s (8/23) New York Times. “But this year things stopped back in mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic shuttered concert halls and opera houses worldwide. Most performances in the United States have been canceled at least through the end of the year…. When everything is running normally, in a city like New York there are performances galore … Just knowing that all those concerts are taking place …testifies to the richness and vitality of this art form. But what will happen to live concerts as we continue to struggle with Covid-19? Even after a vaccine becomes available, will audiences still feel jittery about being among crowds?… This year’s cancellations have prodded institutions and artists to release a flood of online programming, intensifying our dependence on these audio and video resources…. Yet I worry that people will grow digitally distant from … a defining element of classical music: the sheer sensual pleasure of being immersed in natural (that is, not electronically enhanced) sound, when a piece is performed by gifted artists in an acoustically vibrant space.”