The Classical Music Field Is Beginning To Feel The Impact Of Coronavirus Outbreak

Rolling Stone Magazine published an article on 2/4/2020 by Jon Blistein that examines the initial impact the coronavirus is having on the music industry. Along with pop and rock shows, Blistein highlights the decision by the Boston Symphony to cancel their 10 day China tour, that would have kicked off on February 6, 2020.

By mid-afternoon, 2/4/2020. the National Symphony announced their 10-day China tour in March, 2020 was cancelled as well.

It’s a safe bet they won’t be the final cancellations whether it’s a full symphonic orchestra down through guest artists.

But touring and guest artist appearances are just the beginning. If the outbreak continues it could have a broader dynamic impact on the classical music field. For instance, the majority of beginner level student instruments in elementary schools across the US come from China.

Everything from understaffed instrument factories to restrictions on imported goods could impact the cost and availability of new instruments.

How about your organization? Are you seeing any disruptions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak?

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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