Covid restrictions and concert halls


Sir, – I travelled back from the United States last week to self-isolate before my recital at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on December 13th. This recital has been planned for two years to celebrate the 250th birthday of Beethoven. I will be playing the last three piano sonatas of Beethoven, three amazing masterpieces.

Originally we hoped for a full house for this memorable occasion. However, with the Covid crisis, our aspirations went from 1,200 people down to 400, then down to 200, and now we are not allowed any audience in the hall.

I was prepared to accept the Government’s decision without question as I feel it has been doing an excellent job managing this difficult time for us all.

However, I was appalled to learn that cinemas are now allowed to open but theatres and concert halls are still in lockdown. Can someone please explain to me how this can be justified? One person at a piano on the enormous stage of the National Concert Hall is far less of a threat to the health of the nation compared to audiences at a cinema.

Or is this an indication of where the arts feature in the mind of the Government?



Dublin 6.