Levit and Bostridge cancel Spain recital due to Covid rise

Levit and Bostridge cancel Spain recital due to Covid rise


norman lebrecht

July 24, 2020

The Orfeó Català-Palau de la Música Catalana has announced on its website that the English tenor Ian Bostridge and German pianist Igor Levit have called off tonight’s Winterreise due to a rapid rise of Covid-19 in Catalonia.

The two artists performed last Wednesday without incident at the Granada International Festival of Music and Dance.



  • Manu says:

    Why did they play in Granada and not in Barcelona? The situation in Andalucia is equal or worse than in Catalonia as per today. Maybe they got better paid in Granada?

    • Anon says:

      Not sure I agree with you about Andalucia vs. Catalonia with COVID. Pretty sure Catalonia is eclipsing most of Spain right now.

      I’m an outside observer, but it looks to me like whoever’s managing Granada planned this festival with a lot of foresight and attention. Not so much in Barcelona.

      Back when Spain was 1st being devastated by COVID, Granada was one of the few festivals in Europe to announce that come hell or high water they were going thru with their festival this summer. A lot of people gasped at that announcement. But it was a brave gamble that has paid off. Granada has planned carefully, has implemented safety measures & because they are the only game in town (or one of the few) they are getting the best artists.
      Granada Festival 2020 is a spectacular success!

      There is a lot of wisdom & careful planning behind Granada’s success. It’s no coincidence that it’s a meccas for world class artists this summer.

      • Manu says:

        I agree, my comment had nothing to do with the artistic planning and logistical work of the Granada festival which is great since Antonio Moral took over. My comment was about the epidemic situation.

    • passerby says:

      Anon is correct about the numbers, and about the wisdom, careful planning, and hard work by the festival’s new director (and his staff).
      He commented on the challenges of this year’s festival in an interview a couple weeks ago (in Spanish):

      • Anon says:

        Great interview! Thanks! I had no idea who was in charge at Granada. I just noticed that they really know what they’re doing. Good to put a face & name to that expertise!

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Sorry, that’s just not true. Living in Seville, I can tell you that Andalucia has had about one-fifth the cases of Catalunya and even a lower percentage than the number of cases in the Madrid autonomous region. In Andalucia, Granada was harder hit than Seville or Malaga, but by comparison to Barcelona or Madrid, it was minor.

  • Music fan says:

    Virtual performances are the way to go for now. It’s not the same as being there, it’s not optimal in terms of sound, but that’s the way it is and performed and audiences will have to adapt to it.

    • Karl says:

      I won’t. I’m just listening to recordings. Finally heard Horenstein’s Mahler 1st and Barbirolli’s Mahler 5th. I still prefer Solti.

  • Manu says:

    The Granada festival is hosting orchestras, ballets, renowned soloists. Tonight Barenboim plays there. Are they all irresponsible? The concerts are secure because safety measures are taken to protect artists and audiences.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Secure?? Secure?? Not congregating is one of the cardinal safety measures during this pandemic. This is not a situation for either/or and not simply a dependence on masks and social distancing alone. NO ONE, NO PLACE is exempt.

      Good, God, even several southern US governors and (kicking and screaming) Trump are acknowedging this reality.

      Act like responsible citizens.

      • Anon says:

        To Tiredofitall: please stop measuring European cultural reopenings by US standards. YOU need to be a responsible citizen & have a look at the way the rest of the world has handled COVID. Europe is not the US.

        While the US is flailing around with no clear centralized guidelines & arguing about masks, countries like Spain and Italy hunkered down and endured months of strict lockdowns and drastic govt. measures to curtail the virus. Their arts organizations, like the Granada Festival, can open up now, largely because their govts. have taken the right steps and laid down a path for them to do so. Yes, it IS more secure in Europe.

        Spain is not the US. They have a totally different history with COVID and totally different results. They can have concerts where people gather to hear live music because 1. from March to June they were in a complete lockdown & got the virus under control and 2. they follow the rules. When the govt. says to wear a mask, most of them do so. If the govt. lays down rules for concert going (which they have) those rules are adhered to. That’s exactly what Granada is doing.

        So don’t be shaking your stick at European countries for carefully and safely beginning to reopen live concert venues. They did the groundwork to be able to do this. It is safer for them. I recently read that Florida had more new cases in one day than the entire EU. The US is a big disorganized mess (& I am from the US) with no clear central leadership on Covid. Yes, you are right, they have no business thinking about live concerts. But why on earth would you think that in countries that have handled Covid more wisely, that would also be the case?

  • Figueroa says:

    festivals such as this one that are organized and paid for with public funds, don’t care about public health. They prefer to put lives at risk rather than cancel or postpone. If money has come out of Mr Moral’s pockets he would have already cancelled months ago. The easiest job in the world is to administer and deplete other people’s money

    • Anon says:

      Wrong. Public funding is one very good reason why the Spanish govt. has a firm grip on exactly HOW cultural organizations are opening. It’s public money. It’s public health. The govt. makes the rules & calls the shots. It’s not the manager of the Granada Festival’s job to establish public health policies. It’s the Spanish govt.’s. It is the festival manager’s job to FOLLOW those rules, which he is doing.

  • fred says:

    Bostridgen, a most intelligent singer without a voice. A creation of the British record industry. Even Peter Pears sounds like giant compared to him