Orchestras continue to present concerts during the pandemic while striving to keep everyone healthy

Posted on: January 28, 2022

Gianandrea Noseda conducts a recent National Symphony Orchestra rehearsal at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Photo by Stefani Reynolds/AFP

“At the start of 2020, the National Symphony Orchestra was planning its first international tour with conductor Gianandrea Noseda [when] the coronavirus pandemic forced the ensemble out of the Kennedy Center … for 18 months,” reads an unsigned article in Thursday’s (1/27) Agence France-Presse. “The NSO and other professional orchestras in the United States have resumed live performances … while navigating a maelstrom of Covid-19 rules, trying to keep everyone healthy…. [The NSO’s] January concerts … include … Beethoven symphonies—but not the Ninth, as the chorus required would put too many unmasked people on stage…. Noseda says he has noticed a ‘really perceivable’ sense of musicians and audiences appreciating the moment…. NSO executive director Gary Ginstling [said] that general manager Genevieve Twomey and her team have basically become ‘an in-house medical team’ conducting weekly testing and monitoring…. ‘Omicron has been particularly challenging because it’s so contagious and prevalent,’ Dallas Symphony Orchestra president and CEO Kim Noltemy [said]…. Colin Williams, the associate principal trombone player at the New York Philharmonic, [said] that protocols in place had been ‘worth it,’ ensuring the musicians’ safety and that of their loved ones…. [Despite Texas] Governor Greg Abbott’s executive orders barring [mask and vaccination mandates] the Dallas Symphony …is keeping its mask rules in place.”