Should life, to a large extent, be normalised again, will the concerts, trips and teaching function largely as before?

I cannot imagine that we will return to what it was like before. I fear that many event organisers and cultural institutions will not survive the crisis. A few big players will still be there afterwards. But for small ensembles, event organisers, recording companies and agents, it is a case of fighting for their very existence. Whether musical life after the crisis can simply return to how it was, this is something I doubt. 

For musicians, there is another element too: self-belief, the power to get onto a stage, is dented after four weeks. A few days ago, I played in a live-streaming concert with the pianist Francesco Piemontesi here in Berlin in the Schinkel Pavilion and noticed that even after four weeks, it requires significant determination to get onto the stage and play. Much like pilots and their required flying hours, musicians also have to be able to fall back on those abilities in the given moment.


Many colleagues are saying the same thing: they are fighting against self-doubt and are unsure if they can give a concert with the desired perfection. Practice and a certain level of routine are requirements for high-quality. It would be no different for circus performers. Also with surgeons: I’m not sure I’d want to be the first patient a surgeon operates on after a hiatus of several weeks! Of course, a musician is not a surgeon and it is not a matter of life and death. But a musical performance can sometimes feel existential. This is why I was pleased about Francesco Piemontesi’s idea to play together on the internet. It was wonderful! However, streaming this live round the world did rather produce its own stress.