One of Britain’s leading classical musical venues on Tuesday said that a programme of live concerts will take place as the country relaxes lockdown measures, which will feature virtuosos such as pianist Mitsuko Uchida.
From June 1, in the Wigmore Hall in central London, a total of 20 concerts lasting up to one hour each will be broadcast live on BBC radio and on live stream across the world.
But the venue emphasized that strict social distancing measures will remain in effect, as for the first time since the lockdown began in late March, it partially reopenes.
Some of the world’s leading musicians, including a sound engineer, will perform solo recitals or as a duo without an audience and with only a maximum of four staff present.
New government guidelines published on Monday predict “cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast” from next month.
But they stipulate that only without the possibility of “large-scale social contact” can they take place.
Wigmore Hall director John Gilhooly said the concerts would function “under the strictest possible conditions”.
“The health and safety of our staff and the musicians will always be Wigmore Hall’s foremost concern,” he added in a statement.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, music clubs, theatres, museums, and art galleries across Britain were all forced to shut down, and annual festivals were cancelled.
BBC Radio 3 is a classical music channel of the company. The director, Alan Davey, said that the lack of live music had impacted musicians who were unable to perform at home and audiences.
“It’s a great joy to restore this service to the nation whilst also ensuring maximum health and safety,” he added.
The first concert on June 1 will be Stephen Hough’s piano recital. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida and opera singers Iestyn Davies and Mark Padmore are amongst others.