Opinion: It’s time to rethink the climate impact of orchestra tours

Posted on: October 6, 2021

“After these long lockdowns, what a pleasure to finally attend concerts and new musical seasons,” writes Fabien Levy in the 9/30 VAN magazine (Berlin). “However, I’m finding it less and less enjoyable to go and listen to … internationally-touring orchestras when I realize that at least 80 people took a plane for a single concert; particularly when I know that I can listen to a similar interpretation of the same piece by a more local orchestra. I then measure the egoism of this pleasure—though I love to hear these pieces live!—against the future of my children, my students, and an entire generation that will face dramatic shifts and difficulties…. Could there have been other possibilities to limit the extensive air travel of entire orchestras?… Is there a way for renowned festivals and concert halls to invite fewer exceptional ensembles and orchestras, for longer periods of time, so that they could present more complete (and, incidentally, more original) programs—instead of only one concert with the kind of traditional program played by so many others? (In comparison, dance and theater groups make more effort to distinguish themselves from each other in terms of content.)”