17 Mar 2020
17 Mar 2020
Like all of you, we are closely following developments of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Following the recommendations of the government and Public Health England, we are taking some measures detailed below. We would also like to share this message from John Gilhooly OBE, Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society made on 17 March 2020:
‘The coming weeks and months are set to be a very testing time for musicians and our beloved musical community. Colleagues across the music profession are working hard to pull together the best possible contingencies with the means that we collectively have. Of course, many musicians do not have regular salaries and, with necessary concert cancellations and venue closures, they now face an immediate and unnerving loss of income.
At this time, we are so grateful to all music lovers remembering our musicians. We hope those who feel able will consider donating the proceeds of cancelled concert and opera bookings so musicians may still be paid. The music we can yet access from home and online is sure to fortify us in the coming weeks. During this time, please keep supporting the musical organisations you love to ensure we do not lose them in the months ahead.
We are heartened that Arts Council England is currently addressing what contingencies it can offer to musicians and musical organisations. We dearly appeal to the government to instigate what further measures it can forthwith to support musicians in their hour of need. They do so much to inspire us; let us now collectively do what we can to support them.’
The RPS office is closed from Wednesday 18 March till further notice. The team are working from home and can be reached on their respective email addresses or collectively on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can leave messages on our voicemail at 020 7287 0019 which will be checked each weekday.
We are working hard to ensure we can honour our commitment to all the musicians we have already pledged to support this year: the composers we have pledged to commission, the performers we have pledged prizes and awards, and the young musicians we have pledged instrument purchase grants. We are meanwhile addressing with colleagues across the profession what else we can collectively do to provide greater support for musicians at large. We encourage all musicians to visit coronamusicians.info newly-established by a collective of organisations to signpost useful sources of support, and other useful funds at this time are listed here on our website.
We have cancelled our RPS talks on 20 May and 29 April and notified all bookers; we very much hope to welcome the guest artists involved for future events. We are cancelling our Women Conductors courses on 30-31 March at the Royal Northern College of Music and 14-15 at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire but hope to reschedule; participants have been notified. We will share updates here on any further necessary measures in the weeks ahead, and personally notify anyone directly affected.
As of 2 April, we are pleased to introduce a major new area of our website devoted to the music and musicians lifting the world's spirits during these extraordinary days.
Our very best wishes to all our Members, friends and colleagues at this time.