Vienna Phil plays in Japan without bravos

The orchestra has begun its first tour outside Austria since March.

It is travelling around Japan on chartered buses and closed train carriages. Players are tested for Covid every four days. There is no distancing on stage. The conductor is Valery Gergiev, the soloist Denis Matsuev.

Concertgoers have been ordered not to shout ‘bravo!’ for fear of spreading infection.

First report here.

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  • No distancing on stage? Outrageous! Time to start practicing – methinks soon they will have many openings… Gergiev is a fitting conductor to oversee this plague tour!

  • Following a long tradition of misleading clickbait headlines, we now get the suggestion that the Vienna Phil is not well-received in Japan. Why not simply say upfront that not shouting “bravo” is a reasonable health-related precaution, not evidence of a lack of enthusiasm?

      • I read this post because of an interest in the Vienna Philharmonic, not because I was hoping to join in on the xenophobic condemnation of a major international cultural institution. Sometimes a small bit of reporting is actually hidden within the dominant, presumptuous display of attitude.

  • Really bizarre that they’re doing an international tour during a pandemic, regardless of whatever precautions are being followed. Surreal…

    • Let me give you two pieces of information so you can draw your own conclusion:

      – In the past The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra usually made its annual pilgrimage to Japan in November, and the Asian country’s musical faithful always flocked to these much sought-after performances at prices many times higher than they would pay to hear their own excellent orchestras.

      – According to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, Japan approved the entry by members of the VPO “in light of a strong request from the Austrian government…although the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the globe.”

      And as a side note – Suntory Hall, the Tokyo concert hall where four VPO performances will be held starting Monday, has cancelled all performances until February but is making an exception for Vienna.

  • “Concertgoers have been ordered not to shout ‘bravo!’ for fear of spreading infection.”
    That shouldn’t be too difficult to enforce with the toothpick-waving Gergiev on the podium.

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