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As concert halls continue to close due to coronavirus, live streaming of performances will provide welcome access for music lovers worldwide. The iconic Royal Albert Hall in London has just announced its closure, with more UK venues expected to follow. Meanwhile in Hungary, the innovative composer and conductor, Maestro Ivan Fischer, has created a brilliant new concert series in response to this worldwide musical shutdown. The chamber concerts are broadcast live and free to view online while COVID-19 forces music lovers to stay at home. The Maestro and his Budapest Festival Orchestra launched “Quarantine Soirees” on 16 March 2020 and the chamber music concerts will continue nightly online at 7:45 pm (Central European time).
The Maestro says that while we’re at home during this difficult time we “need music, especially chamber music because this is not the time for orchestra music concerts.” Every evening members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra will give a concert from their rehearsal studio. The concerts are free but the BFO also hope that the public will be able to support musicians whose livelihoods are now at risk and their website includes a link for voluntary donations.