Musicians in Quarantine

Picture by Melinda Modisette

Featuring NEW writer Sofia Taylor!

Like all of us, musicians especially have been impacted by the shut down. Whether it is a solo piece or a symphonic work, classical music relies on communities coming together to make, appreciate, and listen to music. Even though art and music have been deemed “unessential,” it is one of the most resilient communities. Adapting and thriving for hundreds of years, musicians have already shown us that they can adapt to these changing times. They’re using the internet like never before. Arguably, musicians are uniting even more people now, all under lockdown, through music’s ability to break countless barriers, such as language, culture, race, age, and now even physical distance. Orchestras and chamber ensembles are still playing “together,” by using software to compile videos. Not only are soloists giving concerts from their apartment balconies, they are also streaming live concerts from their homes, for free and giving all donations to relief funds. For example, Renaud and Gautier Capucon, brothers in different homes, post a virtual concert daily, each going on day 51. Musicians are turning to social media platforms to gather others and put together videos. Yo-Yo Ma has started an entire movement, called #SongsOfComfort, inspiring musicians everywhere to follow his lead and continue to share their music with the world. Although we are all very far apart (six feet, at least), we are still united, just in new ways. If you doubt this, here are some videos to feel inspired:

Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia plays Elgar’s Nimrod:

A similar video, from Rotterdam, Netherlands:

Cellists from around the world play Saint-Saen’s The Swan:

I recommend checking out this entire channel, called Playing For Change. Street musicians from around the world play Chan Chan (although it was not filmed during the pandemic, it feels so much more relevant now):

ClassicFM’s compilation of musicians in quarantine:

Have any ideas for a positive event? Leave a comment. We would love to hear your suggestions!

2 thoughts on “Musicians in Quarantine

  1. Sofia! Oh wow! I read and responded to Andrew’s post about music in the age of COVID-19 and then was directed to your rich and articulate post. Thanks for all the wonderful links you’ve posted. “The Swans” is such mellow cello! And the “Playing For Change” site has been a favorite for years. I realize I am so fortunate and privileged to be able to enjoy so much virtual music through the Net. Ironically, I still have your Prokofiev Concerto and Analise’s Tchaikovsky singing in my ears; how serendipitous that the competition was held before we were all sheltered in from the COVID-19. I know this storm shall pass and we will have the pleasure of attending live performances again. Depending on how this “Watershed Event” transpires, it might be a while but it will be well worth waiting for. Please keep playing, writings singing and enjoying the beauty of music, especially the music you make! Thanks for the inspiration, MrN.


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