The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra announced to put up small-scale concerts on stage that allows musicians to have distance between each other (minimum 1.5 meters) by drastically changing programs scheduled this year. The orchestra declared the new policy at a press briefing where orchestra head Kang Eun-kyung and music director Osmo Vänskä attended before the online concert “Gran Partita by Vänskä” held at the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul on Friday evening.
The orchestra picked Mozart’s 39th Symphony as the main piece at the online concert on May 29 where all players sat with distance and played Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 “The Surprise” at the concert that day. Some 50 orchestra members played at each concert. Under the new policy, pieces after Beethoven’s middle period or symphonies of the romantic period could not be performed as they need 60 to 70 players.
Change in program inevitably entailed change in musicians as well. Conductors and musicians from overseas must quarantine themselves for at least 14 days to play at a concert. “Our music director, principal guest director and associate conductor will lead new programs and Korean artists and foreign players residing in Korea will play,” said Vänskä.