A year since our concert halls fell silent, what future for classical music?

As UK culture eyes a slow and cautious return, what can we expect from our opera houses and orchestras, many of which have failed to seize the digital opportunities this past year

By Andrew Clements

“It remains to be seen whether Glyndebourne’s intention of launching a more or less complete summer season in its opera house from 20 May, with two new productions within the first week, is realistic, especially given the strictures of quarantine for any performer arriving from outside the UK. But it certainly seems likely that the summer opera festivals will be the best placed to go ahead: Longborough and Neville Holt have already announced they will hold performances in temporary auditoriums, while Opera Holland Park and perhaps Garsington too will be able to modify their theatres to make them airier and safer for audiences. And while the Aldeburgh festival will not be going ahead in its usual form, Britten Pears Arts seized every opportunity last year to put on live concerts and has already announced it will launch a programme of events as soon as it is permitted to do so…

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Royal Northern Sinfonia in Gateshead, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, have all streamed extensive online seasons over the last six months at least, though the output of their counterparts elsewhere – the Hallé in Manchester and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, for instance – has been fitful, to put it kindly. Like the London Symphony Orchestra, both of those own their rehearsal spaces – Hallé St Peters and CBSO Centre – but they seem to have been reluctant to put on events from there, while the LSO has not only been streaming concerts but making commercial recordings from its base at LSO St Luke’s.“

Source: The Guardian