Angela Merkel cancels German New Year

Angela Merkel cancels German New Year


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2020

The Chancellor held an open meeting with state leaders today to discuss the next stage of Covid restrictions, to be announced in a week.

Among them:

– People in Germany should keep their contacts to a minimum well beyond Christmas.
– Tourist trips should be avoided.
– Private parties should be completely avoided, especially New Year’s Eve.
– Risk groups should be equipped with so-called FFP2 masks by the state.


It’s looking grim until the spring.


  • Anthony Sayer says:

    It’s looking grim because of the decisions being made…

  • I suppose that mean no gala of the BPO the 31/12…

  • Gustavo says:

    The actual problem is the growing gap between mankind and nature, driven by blind belief in artificial intelligence and medical (technical) solutions to enhance human longevity.

    The anthropocentric focus on COVID-19 as a socio-cultural phenomenon is testimony to a ruthless selfish way of living, which ignores diversity on this planet (including non-human life) and is a terrifying reminder of social-Darwinist principles and practices (group selection to secure the existence of one’s own population).

    • Gregor says:

      not sure why some people thought to down vote your comment, but you’re spot on about humankind’s denial of our destructive, unsustainable lifestyles.

    • S says:

      This is an interesting take. Could you elaborate further, please? I’d like to hear more! 🙂

      • Counterpoint says:

        It is widely accepted that COVID 19 originated by crossing from a species of bat to humans. Indeed it may have started as a hybrid generated between bats and another animal
        species. Either way, it is humankind’s destruction of the natural work aligned with the disgusting treatment of other species in East and South East Asia as live food in so called ‘wet markets’ that brought mankind into such close proximity with nature such that the virus was transferred. In the early days I had great hopes that COVID 19 would be the super-infection that would save planet Earth and its bio-diversity by eliminating Homo sapiens. Barring a nuclear holocaust which would destroy all life forms it is surely only a super-infection that will save the planet, albeit at the expense of a single species.

      • Gustavo says:

        The key philosophical and socio-biological question is why human societies are robustly changing behavioural routines in response to a single infectious disease whereas the long-lasting threats associated with the loss of biodiversity are triggering delayed inefficient reactions, or no responses at all.

        The Judeo-Christian doctrine of faith states that human life is to be ranked above non-human life. So maybe this explains why some societies are so unduly concerned about this pandemic, classifying it as “a war against nature” rather than accepting that mankind is part of nature and showing more humility towards nature.

    • Hermit (Amish flirt) says:

      Also: I don’t like a completely-blind super-goodie-goodie “let’s all work together, we can save everyone” mentality.

      The fact of the matter is: if nature wants to, it will always win.
      Just have Corona go on for 3 years without a decent vaccine; and suddenly you’ll see people getting their priorities right again; and expressing human modernism and technology in less pompous ways.

      Don’t misunderstand me: I think some measures at this point in time are ok; but we can stop the grandeur of “we are the greatest and can control the world. Oh and let’s save all the sick 80 year olds” […without noticing that continuing down this road blindly, will drown the potential future and prosperity of the young in endless debt and misery].

    • Dander says:

      You are talking bollocks man.

    • Dander says:

      Perhaps you could write in concise plain English instead of a pompous idiot. You are talking Bollocks, if you question the benefits of science and technology.

    • C Rogers says:

      I like your comment. I will add: so long as you have a very small percentage of people maintaining the vast majority of the wealth, you’ve got a big, ongoing problem, namely inequality and all its consequences, including housing, life opportunities, education, jobs, the wider environment etc, etc, if you find yourself at the wrong end of that reality. That’s our basic problem. Look at the parallels between Covid and the Plague. The poorer communities always come off worst. It’s not rocket science. Of course this is a complex historical problem, but as I travel around and see the vast houses and properties some people live in and then look at people attending food banks for the very basics……. the obscenity is sickening.

  • Elysee says:

    Not new. Also In Israel Rosh Hashana large family celebrations were forbidden, only the members of family living together were allowed to celebrate in their homes. It s logical.

  • Ken says:

    Major orchestras, especially in the US, are just unanimously assuming that everything will snap back to normal in autumn 2021. Ask yourself: with the way things are going, do you actually see this trend of extended timelines reversing itself anytime soon? Musicians everywhere need to start questioning these decisions rather than blindly accepting them. The existence of classical music as we know it is on the line.

  • Marge O. says:

    another neoliberal us empire lap dog clown. merkel.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    The difficulty is that aside from the impact on the performers audiences will be deterred from making any plans to attend anything when the likelihood is that they could, and in the current climate will be, cancelled. Who will make any plans to attend something that is not likely to go ahead?

    Some organisations in the UK and the USA have to all intents and purposes indefinitely suspended their plans and are receiving criticism along the lines of ‘if Europe can mount productions why not them?’ Well, with the best of intentions, events are not working out as intended and authorities are now on the backfoot as they [over]react to the consequences of easing of earlier restrictions.

    The end result for the adventurous and the not so adventurous is ultimately the same as far as audiences are concerned, what the impact on performers has been is harder to know because those who have had some work are maybe better placed than those who have had no work at all. But then, when we factor in Government support for furloughed and self employed artists it might be that the UK is not quite as draconian in the hit they have taken in the US but the future still looks grim on both sides of the platform and all countries still have no way out of where we are.

  • SVM says:

    My very limited understanding of German politics is that Germany is a federation of sixteen states that enjoy significant autonomy, such that it is not the prerogative of the Bundeskanzlerin to determine public-health measures unilaterally (although it is true that the states have co-ordinated their measures to date). We will need to wait and see how the state governments decide to respond to Merkel’s proposals; apparently, it is not a done deal.

  • Doc Martin says:

    Everything should be cancelled until further notice. Travel etc with Cov-19 is unsafe. I live in my Georgian ancestral home in Kildare miles from any human being, it is fantastic. I will not be having any cov-19 vaccines. Irish whiskey (Green spot) is far better and I just play on my wire strung Irish harp.

  • Lorentz Reitan says:

    Dear Mr Lebrecht
    I had a comment on your very interesting blog some days ago concerning conductor Andrew Littons marriage with Katharina Kang. Thanks for accepting my e-letter. In addition to my thoughts about the marriage and the position of Litton in The American symphonic world, I also added a sentence where I asked If you could wash my language as english is not my first language. Unfortunately this also became part of the printed text. Can you please cut the text that is not relevant here? Thanks in adwance.
    All the best
    Lorentz Reitan

  • Concertgoer says:

    Trump is right. Ultimately we have to choose between letting this thing stop us or proceeding with life.

    Surprised to see Merkel of “Wir schaffen das!” fame taking such a stance. She has already killed thousands of music programs despite functional precautions in place!

  • Nick says:

    When stupidity rules!

  • Hilary says:

    If only “covid” curtailed the worst excesses of social media (see “the social dilemma “ on Netflix) as opposed to the entirely positive thing of face to face connections and other encounters.
    Zoom is good but is a poor relation to reality.