Musicians Union says cut 2-metre distance to 1

Musicians Union says cut 2-metre distance to 1


norman lebrecht

June 06, 2020

The Musicians Union in the UK has asked the Government to consider relaxing self-distancing in orchestras, which it calls ‘overkill’.

The Government says it is open to new ideas.

Report here.


  • It's a joke says:

    The orchestras should just protest and then they can cut it to none. It’s all a joke.

    • James says:

      No, it’s your comment that is a joke. Put your hand down and be silent when it’s things about about which you are not qualified to opine.

      • Amos says:

        Clearly science isn’t applicable to orchestra players spraying spit in every direction. Trump would be proud of your obliviousness and insistence on pretending all is well.

  • Nicholas says:

    Could they have found a less appropriate word than “overkill”?

    It would be a very good idea if those who are not epidemiologists would simply stop giving opinions and advice on what should happen, whether it be orchestras, choirs, or crowds in public that are the object of attention. While experts can disagree with one another, at least they have some scientific basis for what they say and the training and experience to back it. What they say matters. What the rest of us think is just opinion, and our ignorance is quite capable of threatening the lives of others or, indeed, ourselves. We don’t rely on the uninformed opinions of lay-people to tell us whether we need live-saving brain surgery. Why would we pay attention on the subject of an unusually infectious virus that has amply demonstrated its ability to kill people, many of whom fall into a group that is rather well represented in the classical music community?

    • Pat says:

      Unfortunately it seems the best the Musicians Union can come up with is an ex-clarinetist ( Mr Trubridge) going to the government suggesting musicians sit back to back and string players sit in a long line (without using a chin- rest presumably as this tilts the head)and wear face masks all day?! Ignorant nonsense!

  • M U Member says:

    It’s an unusual stance for a trade union to make that they have asked the government if their members can have less health and safety protection than all other workers in the country? I wonder if they consulted the TUC on this?
    As an MU member myself I knew nothing about this and have not been presented with any evidence from my Union such as specialist epidemiology reports to back up their thinking, nor have the MU asked members their opinions.
    Yes I have lost 90% of my income but I do not want to return to unsafe working conditions.

    • Miko says:

      Well said. Don’t despair, there are those well placed to directly challenge Mr Trubridge and his loose talk.

  • Alexander Hall says:

    We all know that simply being alive carries risks with it. Sensible living means risk management. I fail to understand those who appear to argue that there cannot be a return to normality until there are no further transmissions of the virus. If that were to be the case we would never leave our own houses in winter for fear of succumbing to a bout of flu. We also know that face-to-face the risk of transmission is much higher than side-by-side. If sufficient members – no compulsion or undue pressure, mind – are happy to play together in configurations where distance is cut to a minimum, why should this lead to expressions of mass outrage?

    • M U Member says:

      Ah but there is the rub if” no compulsion or undue pressure” ( not to be safe) becomes the Musicians Union new health and safety regulation then they are not fit for purpose.

    • sally says:

      I can see that phone call now…
      “this is ….symphony orchestra, we would like to book you for a tour”
      “there is no compulsion or undue pressure but are you willing to sit closer than the government recommends, and sit back to back to others on the stage?
      “errr… pressure?”
      “absolutely no pressure”
      “I’d rather stick to the recommended 2 metres if that’s ok”
      “we will get back you you….phone goes dead”!