Stranded Chinese musicians film messages of ‘love and hope’ during coronavirus outbreak

5 February 2020, 11:10

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

As the coronavirus outbreak sparks fear and confusion across the world, stranded musicians from this Chinese orchestra are bringing hope and comfort with their beautiful music.

Earlier this month, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra confirmed it would be cancelling all its February concerts “in order to help control the coronavirus epidemic” – leaving all its musicians stranded at home.

To ease their anxiety and spread some love to the world, the musicians have been filming at-home videos with beautiful music and messages of comfort.

Away from the formality of the concert hall, the musicians are dressed in casual clothing, sat in their living rooms, playing in small ensembles with their families.

“Leonard Bernstein once said, ‘Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable’,” the orchestra’s Facebook post reads.

“During this difficult time with the coronavirus epidemic, SSO musicians have spontaneously filmed performances at home, some with family members, to fight together.”

Read more: Boston Symphony Orchestra cancels tour to Asia over Coronavirus concerns >

“First up is the SSO Principal Cellist Huang Beixing and SSO violinist Su Ting with their 11-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. Here they are at home performing ‘Red Star Song’ in a new adaptation for three cellos and one violin.”

In the coming days, Huang Beixing, Su Ting, Huang Zongyao and Huang Zonghan (watch above) will be joined by other SSO musicians to create a full video compilation called ‘Sound for Love, Together’.

A few days ago, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra also launched an online ‘Self-Isolated Music Pack’ that uses annotated music to ease people’s anxiety.

With over 7,700 cases of coronavirus now confirmed in China, two US orchestras have cancelled upcoming concerts in East Asia.

Last week, Boston Symphony Orchestra cancelled its eight-date tour to East Asia, and the National Symphony Orchestra has just called off three concerts in China. Both ensembles cited concerns surrounding the virus outbreak.