Vienna cancels China and Korea tour

Vienna cancels China and Korea tour


norman lebrecht

February 13, 2020

Message received from Marin Alsop’s orchestra:

The ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna was meant to tour South Korea and China from March 10th to 21st.

The tour with the Finnish conductor John Storgårds has now been cancelled. The reason for this is the spread of the coronavirus in China, which also has an adverse effect on cultural life in South Korea.

At the beginning of February, the two concerts planned in China were canceled by the organizer, a week later one of the organizers withdrew from Korea. The remaining concerts in Korea can no longer be performed by the orchestra. Orchestra director Christoph Becher: “We are extremely sorry about this, we were all really looking forward to this tour. But of course we have to protect the health of our musicians, that’s the top priority. As things stand today, it is also completely unclear how the flight situation in Asia will develop and when concert life in Korea, which is already suffering from impairments and cancellations, will recover.



  • Suzanne says:

    I am currently in Seoul. One sees quite a few masks and much hand sanitiser, but public life continues and the mood is good, restaurants, shopping malls and museums are all open. Tomorrow I will attend the Seoul Philharmonic’s inaugural concert with their new music director Osmo Vänskä. Very unfortunate for the ORF that one of their presenters pulled out, but with 28 cases of coronavirus in a population of 55 million I think it’s going a bit far for the orchestra manager to cite health concerns of the ORF’s musicians, at least in regard to the Korean leg of their now cancelled tour.

    • Patrick says:

      You are completely right but as they cancel China they may think the economics of the whole trip do not add up. Big mistake for this relatively small Orchestra

  • Gustavo says:

    Good news for Greta et al., from a certain point of view.

  • sam says:

    Korea is pure collateral damage from China. There’s no reason to cancel Korea.

    “When China sneezes, the world catches a cold.”

    • Christopher Clift says:

      Or in this case Sam, it COULD be coronavirus!

    • Saxon Broken says:

      The problem is that the cost of the trip requires a set of concerts to be played for it to be financially viable. Cancelling half the shows means the other half no longer pays enough to fund the trip.