With the announcement that Melbourne Recital Centre has suspended all public events for four weeks due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, the Centre has guaranteed a one-off payment to the groups scheduled to perform between 16 March and 13 April 2020.
Among the cancelled concerts programmed for this closure period were 13 performances by eight Victorian chamber music and jazz ensembles. These concerts, co-presented by the artists with Melbourne Recital Centre represent a diverse cross-section of the Victorian music scene.
The cancellation of these concerts could mean a loss in crucial revenue at a time when performers need it the most. This payment will support these performers, helping ensure that Victoria’s vibrant musical life is sustained through the closure of Melbourne Recital Centre and other venues around the state and Australia.
“Melbourne Recital Centre plays an essential role in the live music ecosystem of Victoria, particularly in our support of the small and medium sector: the hundreds of independent musicians who we partner with to co-present concerts in a vast array of styles,” said Melbourne Recital Centre’s CEO, Euan Murdoch.
“Closing the Centre for four weeks was a heartrending decision, especially as we were so aware of the effect it would have on the musicians whose livelihoods are vulnerable at this time. It will also have an impact on audiences who take so much joy in their performances.”
After the current crisis has passed, music will play a role in again bringing people together for inspiration, reflection, healing and renewing social connections. It is vital that Victoria’s musicians are sustained so that they can be a part of this. We stand with all artists and the community during this challenging time,” he said.
Pianist Kristian Chong is a frequent performer at Melbourne Recital Centre. Kristian’s performance was scheduled for 24 March and has been cancelled. ‘The musicians who perform at Melbourne Recital Centre feel like part of the family,” said Kristian.
“I value immensely the relationship I have with the people who help me perform at my best. The Centre’s support through this time will help us continue making music for all Victorians.”
The decision to close the Centre considered advice issued by health authorities to slow the spread of COVID-19. They are doing this proactively in the interests of staff and the public and believe this is a cautious and prudent response in an evolving situation.
For patrons affected by the closure, they will be offered a refund or the opportunity to exchange tickets into a future performance. For more information, visit: www.melbournerecital.com.au for details.
Image: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall – Melbourne Recital Centre (supplied)