Winners and losers of the Covid year

Winners and losers of the Covid year


norman lebrecht

April 29, 2021

Here’s a brisk assessment of those who came up smiling and those who are in tears:

Winners                                                                               Losers

1 UK artist agencies with £350+k grants                       US agencies, with $0

2 Simon Rattle, better job                                               Antonio Pappano, bus pass

3 Wigmore Hall, open all hours                                     South Bank, forever dim

4 Daniel Barenboim, Berlin’s jump-in                          Kirill Petrenko, away weeks

5 Bolshoi, dancing                                                            Carnegie Hall, dark

6 Vienna Phil, fully jabbed                                               Berlin Phil, wait in line

7 Rotterdam Phil, first online                                          Concertgebouw, deep snooze

8 Finns, alive                                                                       Swedes, confused

9 Netflix                                                                                Metflicks

10 Beethoven sonatas                                                        Mahler symphonies


  • Mercurius Londiniensis says:

    I suppose NL’s post is designed to provoke, so I’ll rise to one part of the bait…

    I heard the Radio 3 interview Antonio Pappano gave when the news of his LSO appointment broke. He sounded the opposite of lachrymose. What I understood him to be saying was that, yes, the double whammy of Covid and Brexit would make life very hard for the LSO and other British orchestras in the next few years, but some people of his stature and experience had to stay in the UK and strive to maintain as much as possible of the country’s musical life, and he was up for the task. In better days, we used to describe such a commendable attitude as typically British. In any event, when he moves from Floral Street to the Barbican, I’m sure he will do so with immense good will from the vast majority of London’s music lovers.

  • Player says:

    Well, just look who has been working… Barenboim almost throughout (a real hero); Thielemann, as much as he is allowed, but he has been stopped from doing many of his trademark bigger pieces in Dresden (and so has been working on his Bruckner by guesting with the VPO instead); Rattle has been flitting here and there when he can…

    And a small cadre of singers hoovers up what bookings there are, either because they are in the right city at the right time (depending on Covid waves coming in, or going out) or because they have long associations with certain houses so are at the end of the hotline when a show is confirmed to be possible eg. Matthew Rose at Glyndebourne, though apparently he is now a Belgian.

    Lise has clearly remained in work, as has Jonas and the solid cadre of German/Austrian singers like Zeppenfeld, Groissbock etc.

    The one house you missed out which has done well is surely the Teatro Real in Madrid, which has managed to stay open. And let’s not forget that the Deutsche Oper too in Berlin put on a new Wagner production from Stefan Herheim back in October, of Die Walküre…

  • Richard Master says:

    Muti extracting nearly Euro 1M out EU recovery funds (with the compliments of the previous Italian government) to finance his Cherubini pyramid-scheme in exchange for stop uttering negationist nonsense (Winner)

    CSO and Jeff Alexander paying Muti an estimated $1.5M in 2020 for him to spend 1 month in Japan while sending two sentimental video greetings to Chicago (Losers)

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Beethoven sonatas vs Mahler symphonies: brilliant!

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Winners: those who are smart enough to follow the guidelines of their local and national health authorities
    Losers: those who died of the COVID virus

    • Hayne says:

      What about those hundreds of thousands who died following the guidelines of the “authorities?”

    • Ashu says:

      [Winners: those who are smart enough to follow the guidelines of their local and national health authorities]

      Correction: rich enough. And you certainly have been the winners, you bums.

  • Simon Rattle better job ? Well if being happier and closer to your family makes for a better job,yes you maybe right.But artistically I think the LSO would be preferable to the Munich,fine orchestra though it is.