Breaking: Tanglewood cancels

This may be the most obtuse press release of the whole Covid period.

It begins: 2020 TANGLEWOOD LIVE PERFORMANCE AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS, SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE JUNE 19-AUGUST 27, ARE CANCELED DUE TO CONCERNS OVER SPREAD OF COVID-19

That’s really sad, but everything is off.

It continues: SEASON OFFERINGS WILL NOW TAKE PLACE THROUGH TANGLEWOOD 2020 ONLINE FESTIVAL, A GROUNDBREAKING DIGITAL SERIES OF AUDIO AND VIDEO STREAMS.

Everything is still off.

For plain English read BSO president Mark Volpe:
All of us at the Boston Symphony Orchestra deeply wish we could have found a way to present performances at Tanglewood this summer. We explored every possible scenario to try to save all or part of our concert schedule, but with the health of the greater Tanglewood community as our highest priority, performances with audiences are not possible. Since the only time the festival was canceled outright was in 1945 due to World War II, you can only imagine what a difficult decision it was. “I hope everyone wholoves Tanglewood will take advantage of the diverse offerings of Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival,as every effort has been made to bring the spirit of Tanglewood into the numerous video and audio streams featured throughout the summer. With multi-layered content that also focuses on the Tanglewood Music Center and the Tanglewood Learning Institute, we believe these online programs have the potential to break new ground. Most importantly, we hope they will maintain connections with our Tanglewood communityand provide the inspiration needed during this challenging period.“Though we understandthat nothing takes the place of a live performance, during this hiatus summerI hope Tanglewood’s loyal supporters will sit in their yards or homes on a Sunday afternoon watching a video stream of a recent BSO performance from the Shed, or spend a Friday or Saturday evening enjoying newly-recorded performance streams. This content will highlight our wonderful BSO musicians and treasured guest artists who were to be featured on the stages of the Shed and Ozawa Hall this summer.

 

share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
  • Skippy says:

    Instead of “obtuse,” perhaps you mean “opaque”?

    • norman lebrecht says:

      No, I mean obtuse: wilfully hard to understand

      • V.Lind says:

        I’m confused. It seems clear as crystal to me. The Volpe statement is just p.r. Harmless, but fluff.

        • Monsoon says:

          The sentence structure throughout is backwards:

          “Since the only time the festival was canceled outright was in 1945 due to World War II, you can only imagine what a difficult decision it was.”

          I’d edit to:

          “This was an extremely decision to make, especially given that the only previous time the festival was canceled was in 1945 due to World War II.”

          And:

          2020 TANGLEWOOD LIVE PERFORMANCE AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS, SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE JUNE 19-AUGUST 27, ARE CANCELED DUE TO CONCERNS OVER SPREAD OF COVID-19

          to

          SUMMER 2020 TANGLEWOOD LIVE PERFORMANCE AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS CANCELED DUE TO CONCERNS OVER SPREAD OF COVID-19.

          • V.Lind says:

            I’ll grant you CLUMSILY written. Like all too many press releases. The literacy level in the PR industry is staggering.

            But it is perfectly comprehensible. And I do not even find “wilful.” More sort of inevitable.

      • MDR says:

        That’s not what obtuse means.

        • skippy says:

          It’s become a secondary meaning, through misuse. A bit the way “enormity” is becoming a synonym for “enormousness.”

          Inch-by-inch, the language loses its precision.

          • Saxon Broken says:

            Words have always meant what the speaker and listener meant them to mean. The language is not meant for anachronistic obscurantists.

            Norman said it, I understood it, therefor Norman is right in how he used the word; as am I for understanding it as he intended.

        • V.Lind says:

          Indeed. It refers to the consumer in this case, not the consumed. Which is not even opaque.

      • jim says:

        There is nothing remotely obtuse about their statement, but even if there was, obtuse is better than dyspeptic which means the BSO is still one up on you.

      • steven holloway says:

        People are obtuse, not press releases. Like many people, if not most, you’ve confused obtuse with abstruse. I also doubt if a piece of writing can be willful, though people can be, just as they may be obtuse. Some seem to be both at the same time.

  • Tamino says:

    If there is any place that is low risk for virus transmission, it’s the outdoor lawn in Tanglewood. Even in the shed it’s no stagnant air, due to the open sides. But I guess there are more factors to consider.
    Too bad they had to cancel since the whole world is in disarray over understanding what’s normal anymore. But better be safe than sorry. I wish there was a fast forward button for this year.

    • CurlyQ111 says:

      Even if the whole audience distances, a 100 piece orchestra sitting next to each other is a big clan of people. Then they potentially spreads to their families, etc. Better safe than sorry.

    • anon says:

      Communal bathrooms and food service areas, box office and retail spaces, cramped backstage and administrative office spaces, festival guests filling local hotels and restaurants. There are so many areas beyond the lawn and Shed auditorium space where social distancing might not be achievable for patrons, staff, musicians, and production crew. Not to mention the risk to local workers as we bring people to the Berkshires from the entire New England region and beyond, which increases the risk of someone who was exposed elsewhere bringing the virus to Tanglewood (or Ravinia, or Hollywood Bowl, or Wolf Trap, or Blossom, or Bravo! Vail, or…).

    • Larry says:

      “More factors” being the 90 or so musicians sitting on the stage, obviously just inches apart from one another.

      • Tamino says:

        Not a risk group (anyone below 65 at least). Many of them had it already without even noticing probably.
        We know of no infection cluster from an orchestra. We heard from a few amateur choirs with lots of pensioners in them. But not about professional musicians.

    • Monsoon says:

      Even though you’re outside, you still have to maintain 6 feet.

      What do you do when someone coughs? Ask them to leave? You know people will demand that of their fellow patrons. And there will be fist fights — people are already getting shot over face masks.

      Think about all of the other spaces at Tanglewood, like the bathrooms. By design they are small and try to pack as many people as possible into them. You’ll have thousands of people and rule that only allow one or two at a time.

    • phf655 says:

      The lawn gets quite crowded at popular events, with only a narrow space between people – or parties with blankets and al fresco meals. And people spend hours in one spot, between eating and listening. If you have ever been inside the shed on a hot, humid night – which occur with increasing frequency because of climate change – there is virtually no air circulation.

    • Amos says:

      How many times does this need to be discussed? The cancellation of large gatherings is not due to “stagnant air”, the attempt by Bill Gates or scientists to take control of society or any other tin foil hat nonsense. Combating a highly infectious and lethal respiratory virus requires testing, tracing, and isolation until a safe and effective vaccine has been developed. If the United States had spent the last 4 months developing universal testing until a vaccine was ready then large gatherings might be possible but not when you have no idea of the viral status of the people around you.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        How many times does it have to be said that you are just plain wrong.

        1. The virus is not lethal but mildly dangerous. It kills between 1-in-100 and 1-in-1000 people who catch it. Most people have few or no symptoms. However, some sub-groups are much more at risk than the typical person.

        2. The time for “track and trace” disappeared a long time ago. It is a viable strategy when you are tracing hundreds or at most a few thousand people at a time. Currently over a million Americans have the virus (most with few symptoms), and that is far too many to trace.

        3. It is likely that over 30 million Americans have the virus. No country has anywhere near the capacity to test enough people to correctly diagnose all who have the virus.

        4. We can not wait for a vaccine. It is likely to be many years before a vaccine is available, and there is a possibility that one will never be developed (there is currently no vaccine for any corona-virus).

        • Amos says:

          YOU KNOW NOTHING! The all caps is necessary because this virus is lethal and your constant misstatement of facts is dangerous. Everything you said above is pure ignorant BS. Regarding testing South Korea with a population density far higher than the US and closer proximity to China has experienced ~ 250 fatalities due to orders of magnitude greater testing. There is no reason why the US can not ramp up testing to meet the needs of 330 million people but for stupidity at the top. This AM results from the first phase 1 vaccine trial are out and they are promising. Generation of neutralizing Abs have been detected and further refinements as well as results from other trials will result in success in a reasonable time frame. Stop spreading crap about a subject you know nothing about.

          • Tamino says:

            Amos, you are wrong. The infection fatality rate is somewhere around 0.2 %. Possibly even lower, once we know actual infection rates. That’s not a “lethal” virus. It’s a bit more lethal than the flu, but not much. Stop being hysterical.

    • sam says:

      I don’t think the most important concern is the outdoor audience. It’s all the backstage / indoor space where players, students, staff, crew commingle and interact.

      All you need is one asymptomatic infected person, which is unfortunate enough, but which can put a whole choir or orchestra out of commission for at least 14 days, and their spouses at home, if not worse.

  • Tony Fogg says:

    Here is a link to the complete press release regarding the 2020 Tanglewood season.

    http://bso.http.internapcdn.net/bso/images/press-releases/tanglewood/2020/20200515.pdf

  • Jack says:

    ????

    Makes total sense to me.

  • drummerman says:

    I guess the only kind of “breaking” news these days would be if a concert or festival was going ahead, as originally scheduled. This is getting more depressing by the minute.

  • Karl says:

    It’s really sad that a classical music blog has come down to us arguing about the wording of the anoncement of Tangelwood’s cancellation.

  • >