Covid keeps on striking down touring artists

Covid keeps on striking down touring artists


norman lebrecht

November 27, 2020

We hear of several high-flying artists who have contracted Covid-19 this month, some severely.

One well-known maestro has spent five weeks on ventilation in an intensive care ward. He tells us he is now recovering.

The Dutch violinist Janine Jansen was locked down in a London hotel. She has just posted on her public page:


Dear Friends,

After testing positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago while in London for my new recording project, I am now thankfully recovering well. I had flu-like symptoms but nothing too serious. With plenty of rest I look forward to finishing this special project as soon as possible!

Stay home. Stay safe.


  • Brian says:

    “I look forward to finishing this project as soon as possible.” “Stay home. Stay safe.” Talk about mixed messages!!

  • Firing Back says:


    They seriously need to get a bloody grip. This is not WW1 trench warfare where they are ‘going over the top’ simply to get shot down.

    These musicians are not heroes or martyrs – they’re mostly dumb, self-centred, desperate to make themselves relevant at any cost, fools who are clearly not taking this pandemic seriously at all.
    And look how they ‘cash in’ when they get said virus. That, in itself, is an insult to the many who have actually died from it.

    ‘Stay home’ is the key phrase. How thick can they really be not to understand it?


    • Anon says:

      Or, perhaps they need to work to support themselves and their families. Professional musicians don’t perform as a hobby and for most, concertizing isn’t a second job. There is little to no governmental help for US artists. I know a few concert artists who feel they have no choice but to take the few gigs offered even when travel is required.

      • henry williams says:

        if the musicians have bills to pay
        and not a lot of savings do they have
        a choice

        • Marge O. says:

          If one chooses to “live” in the us empire as an adult with working frontal lobes, then there are consequences for this extremely poor choice.

    • E says:

      ok, i cannot speak for all but when your professional identity is crushed- and let’s add personal identity as well, your self worth, the years and years of practice- then yes you DO travel and try to find projects that are within the lines of ever changing government approval.

    • Simon Scott says:

      Life is a conflict. There are times when there is no choice other than to go into the lion’s den.
      What do you expect these musicians to do–stay at home and feel sorry for themselves?
      Mr. Firing Back,a radical rethink is the order of the day on your part.

      • Firing Back says:

        Explain the ‘radical rethink’ bit, if you will.

        In relation to your question: I expect musicians to stay at home and help keep themselves and the rest of us safe.


        • Simon Scott says:

          It depends upon what one believes. You obviously are happy to kow tow to a dictatorship. That be the case, good luck to you

    • Back Firing says:

      What a nasty and thoughtless comment. The world is full of people having to go to work throughout this crisis. Musicians are no different. Except most of them have no work to go to, so when a concert turns out not to be cancelled, they do their best to honour the contract, get to the destination, play their best, and earn the fee. Why the cliché about musicians seeking “relevance”? It’s always the same, stupid remark! No, they just need to pay the f###**g mortgage! Like everyone other member of society! Do restauranteurs get accused of seeking to “stay relevant” when they try to keep the restaurant open? And have you any idea how uncomfortable it is to go through all the hassle of planning a tour when each country has a whole different set of rules, when travel is so stressful, when you even have to wear a mask on stage while playing huge works? Of course not! Sometimes I feel this blog is mainly populated by people who HATE classical music and HATE musicians. If they’re not foretelling the industry’s imminent doom, they’re insulting musicians with spit and vinegar.

      • Firing Back says:

        I’m flattered that you’re so bothered by my comments here that you actually post using a variation on my nickname here. It seems to be becoming a thing. 🙂

        I can see you are angry, but there’s a pandemic. The official advice is ‘stay home’. Most people are doing so – most large public events are forbidden. Which part of that can’t some musicians understand?

        Further, many classical musicians have sadly died from COVID19, so save your lectures.


  • van Helsing says:

    My FOI requests to MHRA re: submission data has drawn a blank. They made a pathetic excuse it is exempt, but they did say no market authorisation as yet. EMA say January 2021 roll out. With no data in peer review I shall pass until they show me the data to appraise myself. Either way I shall not be rushing for a poke in the arm. I am following up my FOIs with the ICO. If I had to have a vaccine it would not be Pfizers or the Oxford one, an inactivated protein one non recombinant might be low risk. Until I see data however I will say no. The way the government is doing this reminds me of how they select the next Pope. You just get mirrors without the smoke!