A few other notes regarding the current situation.
The John Passion tour was going to be Alberto Grazzi’s last tour as a player member. Italy has been locked down so unfortunately he won’t be able to join us. The fact that he is stepping down does not meant we will never see him again. We will have another opportunity to celebrate his incredible contribution to The English Concert.
Insurance. A few players have asked whether we are insured for the present cancellations. In most contracts we have with presenters, Force Majeure clauses come into effect. In a nutshell, these range between “you cover your costs to date, we cover ours” to “we will help with your costs to date but not with the performance fees”. Cover for event cancellations can be arranged in advance but our insurance is normally renewed in January. At the time we started discussions in late January I enquired whether enhanced insurance could be arranged to cover any potential impact on our activity in late March, April and June. Because at the time of the discussions Covid-19 had become a known issue, insurers would not provide cover. So far we have spent over 50,000 on travel and accommodation arrangements for the upcoming projects. Various airlines are implementing flexible re-booking options but otherwise we may be exposed, particularly if airlines do not cancel and are not able to provide refunds.
We are actively working with Schwerin and the Thuringer Bachwoche to try and reschedule our performances.
Office Somerset House remains open but it could be shut at short notice. Sarah is now working from home and I am the only one in the office at present. One of the first changes when I joined the orchestra was moving our files and communications infrastructure to the cloud so operations can continue regardless of any access restrictions that may come into force. I am not a particularly efficient librarian but if you need a particular piece of music, do let me know and I will do my best.
Last Monday was Nick Hardisty’s last day in the office. We are very grateful to Nick for his work during the last 5 years and wish him the very best for the future. Enquiries about tickets should be sent to Abigail Carney from now on email@example.com (she is part time so don’t expect an immediate answer). Anything else write to Sarah or me. We intend to recruit a full time fundraising manager over the next couple of months.
Visas for the US Tour
We have just expedited the US VISA petition. Sarah will be in touch as soon as we have received the documentation so we can proceed with the VISA appointments.
John Passion. If the Wigmore performance ends up being cancelled we are exploring the possibility of performing it with no audience at the Wigmore Hall on the 5th of April. If it is cancelled, there won’t be an audience which will mean no ticket income so we will only be able to do it if we can find a generous donor that can subsidise the cost. I’ll keep you posted with any developments. As things stand the performance is going ahead.
Bach – In Search of Perfection You will find the links to the archive recording of our concert at the Wigmore on the 25th of February below. These are not public videos. Please, do not share, upload to your individual websites (if applicable) or give access to these links to anyone.
Bach Orchestral Suite – https://youtu.be/pRrKdJnwOMI
Sinfonia to cantata 35 https://youtu.be/pRrKdJnwOMI?t=1158
Brandenburg 5 https://youtu.be/pRrKdJnwOMI?t=1774
Sinfonia to cantata 169 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTMW5Y7ho8I
Triple Concerto https://youtu.be/GTMW5Y7ho8I?t=557
Brandenburg 4 https://youtu.be/GTMW5Y7ho8I?t=1712
Barbican – Sound Unbound 2021.
The Barbican runs a festival every two years with performances across the City of London. If you have any programme ideas, let me know! It would need to be something different from our usual fare so either weird composers and/or instruments are particularly encouraged! The whole thing is about unexpected sounds in unexpected places. It also can’t be large scale… Have a look at their 2019 edition to get a sense of what the festival is about but I’m keen to hear your ideas! Sound Unbound 2019