Just in: Seoul pulls Vanska date

Just in: Seoul pulls Vanska date


norman lebrecht

May 20, 2020

The Seoul Philharmonic had been planning to reopen next week with Mahler 2nd, conducted by incoming music director Osmo Vänskä.

All 95 players were supposed to be tested for COVID-19 before rehearsals and Vänskä went into self-quarantine on arrival.

Tonight, however, the orchestra cancelled the event due to ‘the increase of infections linked to Itaewon (night) clubs’.

Too much, too soon.

And one unnecessary quarantine.



  • Cubs Fan says:

    And one unnecessary Mahler 2 if his recording is anything to go by.

  • MezzoLover says:

    Vänskä’s self-quarantine is by no means unnecessary.

    According to the same The Korea Herald news article:

    “The SPO said, instead of the canceled concert, it will prepare for a no-audience, online concert under the baton of Music Director Osmo Vanska on the same day.”

    Too much too soon? No doubt. But the precautionary measure taken by Vänskä’ is definitely not a total waste.

  • John Rook says:

    So they cancelled the concert in case someone got a cough?

    South Korea: 256 deaths with CV-19. Not even ‘of’.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I guess they just don’t have enough Seoul in Korea. Pity.

  • Jack says:

    Sad. South Korea has been one of the success stories in this dark chapter.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Why is he flying?

    Big ego, no brains.

  • fflambeau says:

    I don’t agree. These are highly trained people; if they go…. .

    Osmo understands, I’m sure.

  • S says:

    Mahler 2 was in February (AND PERFORMED).
    Not cancelled, but will be live-streamed.
    One worthy quarantine.

  • Paul says:

    Well if anyone would actually like to read the article, it says that the performance of Mahler 2 will be replaced by a live concert that will be streamed, conducted by Vanska. So it wasn’t a waste at all.

  • Suzanne says:

    Osmo Vänskä and the Seoul Philharmonic opened their 2020 season and his tenure as Music Director with two sold out performances of Mahler 2 in FEBRUARY, Catriona Morrison and Siobhan Stagg were soloists and the Korean choirs sang beautifully. Osmo has now returned to Seoul to be with his orchestra as they work together to find ways to reopen concert life in Korea’s capital city. This should be a positive story!

  • Ted says:

    Vanska conducted the last concert of Israel Philharmonic before lockdown started.With no audience he was the solist of Mozart clarinet concerto.

  • BP says:

    South Korea has been trending near zero cases for a while now. The night club incident is a mere blip in this context. At what point exactly do they count on putting concerts back on ?

  • Gustavo says:

    Ever heard of advansk planning?