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Ensemble Musicians On The Challenges Of Performing Together During A Pandemic




Musicians from Medellin's Philarmonic Orchestra play in front of a hospital, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Medellin, on August 6, 2020.
Musicians from Medellin's Philarmonic Orchestra play in front of a hospital, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Medellin, on August 6, 2020.
JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty Images

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When the state of California issued protocols back in June for restarting music, film and TV productions during the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the attention was paid to the film and television portion of the protocol.

But for as many of us for which sports, TV and film have been a place of solace amid the uncertainty of a global pandemic, live music is that chosen escape for others. And for the musicians who make a living playing the live music we consume, the challenge has been figuring out how to perform in a group setting while maintaining safe physical distance in an environment where a large group of people are blowing into musical instruments. It might not sound like a challenge when you think about an individual musician reading music and performing it, but that changes when you consider that a musician needs to be in sync with his or her colleagues in order to keep time. And in a field that is all about projection, having to play behind plexiglass can mess with how a musician hears her or himself in conjunction with the others in the ensemble.

If you’re a professional musician who performs in an ensemble environment, we’d like to hear from you. How are you navigating the challenges of playing music with others during the pandemic? Join our live conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Marc Sazer, violinist with the Pasadena Symphony and Pops, recording musician and president of the Recording Musicians Association, the caucus for recording musicians within the American Federation of Musicians, the organization which represents professional musicians in the U.S. and Canada