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Letter: Performing arts, artists suffer during the pandemic

Letter: Performing arts, artists suffer during the pandemic

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As a musician with a 65-year career as a symphony musician, concert soloist, recording artist and educator I would like to talk about how devastating the Covid-19 pandemic has been for the performing arts.

Whether on Broadway, symphony and opera halls, pop music, live jazz and pop venues, high school band, orchestra vocal music programs, music conservatories and university music studies and so on there is nothing like live performance. There is no substitute for a live symphony orchestra performing Shostakovich, Stravinsky or Mahler, or a Puccini, Verdi or Mozart Opera at the Met or other opera houses, a live performance of a Broadway musical/show in New York City, your local playhouse or high school productions, a live jazz combo in the local club or jazz venue, or a big stadium concert of your favorite pop group.

These are experiences not available with MP3 sound files or a broadcast on a laptop with earbuds. Musicians by the tens of thousands are out of work. As is the support staff, sound techs, stage hands, managers, etc. It will take years to get back to the high artistic levels we were at in 2019 and before. This kind of talent does not drop out of the sky. It takes years of training and doing. We have already lost many of our young and some of our older “veteran” artists to other fields of employment so that they can feed their families. It is sad times for the performing arts and performing artists.

Richard Nunemaker


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