Boston Symphony Orchestra cancels tour to Asia over Coronavirus concerns

30 January 2020, 15:51 | Updated: 30 January 2020, 15:56

Coronavirus threatens Boston Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming Asia tour
Coronavirus threatens Boston Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming Asia tour. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

As the threat of the coronavirus increases, a major US orchestra has cancelled their upcoming eight-concert tour to East Asia.

A major American symphony orchestra’s tour to East Asia has been cancelled given the increasing threat posed by the coronavirus, which has already killed 132 people in China and infected nearly 6,000.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andris Nelsons, had planned an eight-concert tour from 6 to 16 February, taking them to Hong Kong, Shangai, Taipei and Seoul.

“On behalf of Andris Nelsons and the musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, we are all deeply disappointed that we will not be able to perform for the wonderful audiences in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai,” Boston Symphony President and CEO Mark Volpe said in a statement.

“With the health and well-being of the musicians always of foremost concern, we have cancelled the entire tour.”

Read more: Flautist settles lawsuit with top US orchestra after equal pay row >

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Latvian maestro Andris Nelsons
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Latvian maestro Andris Nelsons. Picture: Getty

On Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Level 3 warning, advising against “all nonessential travel to China”.

The US Department of State’s travel website is advising travellers to “reconsider travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China”.

Read more: Oscars to feature a female orchestra conductor for first time in history >

Concert halls in Shanghai and Hong Kong have already been temporarily shut down, including the Hong Kong Culture Centre, at which Boston are scheduled to perform on 12 and 13 February.

The centre posted a notice of temporary closure on their website on Tuesday morning, stating that “programmes and activities will be cancelled until further notice”.