The Basque National Orchestra has unveiled a series of eight weekly concerts to be broadcast live, starting on May 30, becoming one of the earliest orchestras to restart regular performances since the coronavirus closed concert halls throughout the world.
In order to comply with safety rules – including enabling the musicians to sit two metres apart – the works chosen can all be played by around 50 musicians, and each concert will be a maximum of one hour’s duration.
The concerts – to be conducted by the orchestra’s Principal Conductor Robert Trevino – will be broadcast every Saturday morning on Basquetelevision channel ETB2, live-streamed throughout Europe in the orchestra's digital channels, and also made available in North America via a partnership with the new Stage Access digital service. Composers whose music will feature include Mendelssohn, Mozart, Richard Strauss, Brahms and Haydn as well as newer works by contemporary Basque composers Ramon Lazkano and Mikel Urquiza.
The players last performed together on March 9, whilst on tour in Istanbul, but Trevino is already in San Sebastian, rehearsing at the orchestra's headquarters in the city’s Miramon district. 'We are reunited again,' says Trevino of being back with his players. 'I am so happy to see these incredible musicians and this wonderful team again, and to see how delighted they are to be with each other, here together for our audiences again. Music is so much needed now and ways to connect must be found. Mozart, Mendelssohn, all these great composers wrote music for all and every time; and in these hard times especially, we can find in their works comfort, togetherness, the vibrancy of life.'
The orchestra's General Manager Oriol Roch added: 'It is the duty of an orchestra, when it is safe to do so, to give music and art to their public. We have all been grateful to our medical professionals for saving our lives in the storm of these recent months, and now that we can and for as long as we can, the Basque National Orchestra will play our own parts; we will bring music back to people's lives. All of us feel this calling, this responsibility very deeply.'
Full series details can be seen at the Basque National Orchestra's website here.