Marin Alsop says Austria is handling Covid best

Marin Alsop says Austria is handling Covid best


norman lebrecht

September 03, 2020

The US conductor is taking on the season openers of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris in the coming week.

She says: ‘It is a tribute to Austria that because of its deft management of the pandemic, the Vienna RSO will be able to perform works for large orchestra – including symphonies by Schumann and Mahler – that the pandemic has silenced in most concert halls around the world. Under these circumstances, the knowledge that we will be sharing this music-making widely through television and radio broadcasts will no doubt invest these concerts with an emotional resonance beyond anything we could have imagined when we planned these programs many months ago.’



  • pjl says:

    one imagines that she is rightly aiming at Trump’s refusall even to attempt to handle the health crisis; good for her!

  • Alexander T says:

    “Emotional resonance”?
    Something totally lacking in any Alsop performance I have ever heard.

    • Peter Phillips says:

      You clearly didn’t hear her German Requiem at the Proms a few years ago. I was driving and had to pull over, stop and listen to the end. Her MDR recording is nowhere near it though.

  • Ramesh Nair says:

    Alsop was supposed to conduct Beethoven 9 in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, in late July, but she was a no-show. Meanwhile in July, the Auckland Philharmonia managed the Beethoven 1st piano concerto, Mozart bassoon concerto, Szymanowski 2nd violin concerto, and Dvorak 5th symphony, in near-full houses with normal seating arrangements. The NZSO likewise managed Prokofiev 5, coupled with Mahler and R Strauss orchestral lieder. Sadly a community outbreak in Auckland of 150 total cases over 5 weeks has shut the concert halls, but these should reopen next month.

    • Fiddlist says:

      Agreed Ramesh, I’ve seen some livestreams from the APO in Auckland recently, and they are doing some really great stuff in challenging times. They deserve more attention!

    • Correction says:

      Presumably Alsop didn’t go to NZ because she wouldn’t have been allowed in… so not really a ‘no show’

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    A wonderful country; this doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  • John Chunch says:

    One of the interesting characteristics of Covid-19 is that it is a moral arbiter. The yokels in the south, the bad Trump supporter people, got the virus because of their own stupidity and for not following the science. Good and smart Europe folk defeated the virus with science. Bravo Maestro Alsop, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say hearing you interpret Mahler is what we all need for collective healing as a society.

    • Alank says:

      The ignorance of this comment is stunning. In the US, the states with the highest infection and mortality rates are NY, NJ, and CT. Partly because of population density and commuting patterns but also because the progressive governor of NY forced COVID patients onto nursing homes. Worldwide only Germany has a substantially lower rate than the US

      • Westfan says:

        The high rates in the states you mentioned have much more to do with the fact that these places were impacted early in the pandemic, we knew less and were less prepared for the severity of the virus, and of course these states are the most densely populated so the virus traveled quickly. Plus the cases came primarily from Europe, via international plane flights coming in the the NY metropolitan region. Gov Cuomo has admitted to making a mistake in the nursing home decision, something Trumpy never did about the pandemic and will never do. The rates of the virus have skyrocketed in other regions more recently, mostly due to governors refusing to tell their constituents to wear masks, socially distance, and stay out of bars. Right now Iowa has the highest increase of cases. And still Trumpy has no clue about what to do except to hide statistics, tell people there will be a safe and effective vaccine before the election, and make fun of people wearing masks. Meanwhile he gets tested up to three times daily. What a hypocrite.

    • Greg says:

      I honestly don’t need to hear her “interpret” anything, especially Mahler. I also don’t think the rioters and looters will experience any collective healing by being exposed to her “interpretations.” But then again, what do I know? I’m just a yokel Trump supporter in the south. Perhaps you should keep your ignorant faux-elitist comments to yourself. Better to be though a fool than to post idiotic comments and remove all doubt.

    • The View from America says:

      “Bravo Maestro Alsop, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say hearing you interpret Mahler is what we all need for collective healing as a society.”


  • Arvīds says:

    Latvia (with some of the lowest COVID numbers in Europe) will see a full-scale Brahms Requiem with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and State Choir LATVIJA on Saturday. Symphonic music (with audience!) has been happening here since June.

  • Tad Palac says:

    This article appeared in my Austria Google daily news email for today, 4 September. Ironically, immediately below it another news agency item with the headline:
    “Austria reports biggest daily spike in COVID-19 cases since early April”. Though I hope this doesn’t interfere with the concert, please stick to conducting Mme. Alsop! The virus has not yet been defeated in Europe. Nevertheless, compared to the USA and several other countries, Austria has undoubtedly done a good job. And as for emotional resonance in a concert without an audience….don’t think so!

  • Doug says:

    Translation: “I applaud Austria because right now, they’re my greatest source of income. Keep shoveling those Euros, my ways. boys and girls.”