In early November 2021, the Netherlands became the first western European country to undergo partial lockdown since the summer, according to The Guardian. Despite that two-week plan, further action became necessary.
“On Friday, November 26, 2021, the central government announced new measures to reduce the increasing number of COVID-19 infections,” reported the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (RPhO) on their website. “The new measures apply from Sunday 28 November to Saturday 18 December.”
According to the Netherlands’ government, the number of COVID-19 infections has been reaching record levels. The stricter measures were placed to reduce rates of infection and prevent overload on their healthcare system.
This measure altered the schedules of many orchestras across the nation, such as the RPhO — which introduced a line-up of online concerts and live streams for the period of evening lockdowns and beyond.
RPhO recently held an online concert featuring pianist Seong-Jin Cho playing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto in place of Yuja Wang due to travel restrictions. The concert had to be moved earlier due to the new COVID measures.
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (NedPhO) was also among groups updating their concert schedules: “Part of these stricter measures is that theaters and concert halls must close their doors at 5 p.m. daily for the next three weeks,” they posted on Facebook. “Unfortunately, we are forced to cancel our concerts in December.”
Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) wrote on their website: “Much to our regret, we have thus decided to cancel all concerts in Amsterdam up to and including 18 December.”
Despite this, the RCO has organized shorter concerts and free streams during the coming weeks, due to the severely limited amount of people now allowed to attend concerts scheduled during the day.
With these new protocols in place, venues like theaters and concert halls will remain closed in the evenings. The situation will be reassessed on December 14, 2021 for any changes.