Audience restrictions limited the turnout at last night’s Israel Philharmonic concert to around 300 in a 2,850-seat hall.
As the concert was about to begin, the orchestra’s manager Avi Shoshani went on stage to announce that Bibi Netanyahu and his health minister had just issued an instruction to the effects that no events with more than 100 people were allowed. He went on to say: ‘We are more than 100 people and are in an age group of higher risk I would say. So we are very sorry but we will not be able to continue with the event this evening. Your health is important to us and the health of the orchestra’s members. We just can’t take this risk.’
The concert went ahead in an empty hall, broadcast on the orchestra’s Facebook page.
The conductor, Osmo Vänskä, performed Mozart’s clarinet concerto, itself a late substitute. The second half was a stunning Sibelius 5th symphony.