Baton break: Israeli quits Taiwan over Covid

Baton break: Israeli quits Taiwan over Covid


norman lebrecht

June 22, 2022

The veteran Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal has revoked his new contract with the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and will end his involvement in August.

Inbal, 86, signed a new three-year deal in April.

But recent concert cancellations due to Covid, added to tougher quarantine rules, have prompted him to leave.


  • Henry williams says:

    Who signs a 3 year contract when they are 86.
    He should retire to the lovely weather in Israel.

  • fflambeau says:

    He’s been a very good conductor and I wish him well.

  • Nathaniel Rosen says:

    A little-known fact: Maestro Inbal was the last conductor to appear in concert with Heifetz.

  • Allegri says:

    The headline is somewhat misleading. Taiwan is easing its quarantine rules, not imposing tougher ones. At the beginning of the year mandatory quarantine upon entry into the country was 14 days, now it is down to 3. May we assume that the reasons for breaking the baton lie somewhere else?

    • Cough cough says:

      Just to be clear, it’s 3+4. You are quarantined at your hotel for 3 days, add 4 more mandatory days for “self health management check,” meaning you can only go out briefly for medicine and groceries as long as you don’t hang around with other people and don’t take public transportation. All but in name, you are stuck living in a hotel for 8 days (the first day doesn’t count, quarantine starts after the first nite). The headline is not misleading. It doesn’t say that Taiwan is easing COVID rules. Imagine heading a orchestra and you have to quarantine in a hotel room for 8 days every time you come back to do your job. It sounds even more ridiculous, considering that airlines require travelers to get a negative test to board a flight. Yesterday, there were 48,000+ cases reported locally and only 86 cases from foreign arrivals. I understand why the maestro quit and am surprised he stuck it out for so long. Best of luck to this fine musician and lovely man.