Seen and Heard International hopes for the happiest of outcomes for all those who are ill due to the current coronavirus pandemic. We share the optimism of those experts who hope that all those in otherwise good health will be able to resist its worst effects.

With the worldwide restrictions on travel and gatherings of significant numbers the world of classical music and many other entertainment events are currently subjected to a wave of changes, postponements, or cancellations, and it is unlikely normal recreational life will be resumed in the foreseeable future.

Seen and Heard International will continue to post reviews of concerts, operas, dance, theatre, and broadcasts for a long as we can, but bear with us if our content is not refreshed as often as readers have become used to over recent years.

We are not a listings site so if you are checking for news of whether performances have been postponed, cancelled, or might be restarting, please go direct to the websites of the venues concerned.


Attempts are being made to provide online live music and other performances – live or recorded – during this ongoing situation. Below are a few of the announcements and please also look elsewhere on Seen and Heard for more news. None of this is intended to be comprehensive or regularly updated but might be added to in coming days:

Scottish Chamber Orchestra – continues its commitment to bringing world-class music to audiences at home throughout the rest of 2020, with ten further streamed concerts as part of its autumn season, including music by composers such as Sally Beamish, Anna Clyne, Jessie Montgomery and Errollyn Wallen. Concerts filmed at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh will be available for free via the SCO’s YouTube and Facebook channels and remain viewable for 30 days after broadcast.

Gavin Reid, Chief Executive, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) says: ‘I am delighted that the SCO is today announcing a further ten, free, online concerts, that will see the outstanding musicians of the Orchestra continue to entertain our ever-growing digital audience. Filmed in several venues around Scotland, these concerts offer a wide variety of wonderful music as we welcome back some truly remarkable talents alongside our own brilliant players, including our Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev, SCO regular and friend Pekka Kuusisto and acclaimed tenor, Allan Clayton. We look forward enormously to sharing these musical moments. Further plans for the remainder of this Season will be announced in December.’

In November, players from the SCO will perform a programme including Ravel’s Violin Sonata and Milhaud’s La Création du Monde (5 November, 7.30pm) followed by a concert of Mozart’s Adagio & Fugue, Schumann’s Etudes in Canonic Form and Strauss’ Metamorphosen (12 November, 7.30pm). In a concert curated by director and violinist Pekka Kuusisto, the orchestra performs Associate Composer Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Tenor Allan Clayton and former SCO Principal Horn Alec Frank-Gemmill are the soloists (26 November, 7.30pm). The Orchestra start December with a concert including John Adams’ John’s Book of Alleged Dances and Mozart’s Grand Sestetto Concertante (3 December, 7.30pm). SCO Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev conducts a concert curated by him which sees Principal Cello Philip Higham as soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme and Schubert’s Symphony No 5 (10 December, 7.30pm).

Lunchtime concerts also continue during October, November, and December. As part of ‘Laidlaw Live,’ from the recently-opened Laidlaw Music Centre at the University of St Andrews, where the SCO is Orchestra in Residence, musicians play music by Coleman, Beamish, Thurlow, Martinů and Koshinski (28 October, 1.10pm). They also perform Felicien David, Franchomme, Bottesini and Rossini (18 November, 1.10pm) and Price, Beamish, Clarke, Smyth, Wallen, Dare, Weir, Carreño and Montgomery (9 December, 1.10pm). At the Stevenson Hall, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the SCO Winds perform Janáček’s Mládí and are joined by RCS students in a side by side performance of Nick Reader’s wind arrangement of Beethoven’s Symphony No 7 (20 November, 1.05pm). These lunchtime concerts will be broadcast on the respective University and Conservatoire YouTube and Facebook Channels as well as the SCO’s.

For further information CLICK HERE.

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Live performances at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in October 2020

Snape Maltings Concert Hall to reopen for live performances with audience from 21 August

Britten Pears Arts is thrilled to announce that it will host live music-making again in Snape Maltings Concert Hall from Friday 21 August, following the latest government announcement, becoming one of the first venues in the UK to return to regular concerts for a live audience.

Live music-making continues at Snape Maltings Concert Hall following a hugely successful first weekend (21 – 23 August), becoming one of the first venues in the UK to return to regular concerts for a live audience and music-making continues in September and October with regular concerts for a live audience.

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Young Concert Artists announces 2020 events

Young Concert Artists announces 60th anniversary season

The 60th anniversary season of the Young Concert Artists opens on 21 October with a concert streaming live from Merkin Hall that will feature performances by an array of artists representing YCA’s remarkable history. The program will include solo and chamber works by Ravel, Bach, Handel and Higdon, as well as the world premiere of a partita for solo violin by YCA Composer Chris Rogerson. (Rogerson is represented by Young Concert Artists, Inc., and served as YCA Composer-in-Residence from 2010-2012. In 2016, he joined the Musical Studies Faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.)

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English National Ballet announce their current plans for 2020-21

English National Ballet
2020-21 Announcement

Recent Emerging Dancer 2020 finalists
(c) Laurent Liotardo (photo), Nik Pate​ (post-production)

For more about English National Ballet click here

English National Ballet returns to the stage with performances of Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum this Christmas and, as previously announced, Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet at Sadler’s Wells in November.

During the festive period, English National Ballet will present Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum (3 December 2020 – 3 January 2021). This special version of the Christmas classic sees the Company perform a selection of the ballet’s most popular moments and iconic scenes accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s famous score played live by musicians from English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director said: ‘English National Ballet has performed a version of The Nutcracker every year since we were founded in 1950 and I’m so pleased that, despite the challenges faced, we have been able to find a way for the tradition to live on, in this, our 70th Anniversary year. It’s more important than ever that we are able to bring audiences some festive joy this Christmas.’

Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet sees the Company present five world premieres at Sadler’s Wells, London, from 19-21 November 2020. Originally commissioned as creations for camera as part of English National Ballet’s upcoming digital season and now also adapted for the stage, the new works have been choreographed by some of the most exciting dance makers working today: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Yuri Possokhov, Arielle Smith, and Stina Quagebeur.

Tamara Rojo continued: ‘After what will be nearly 9 months without performing in theatres, I am thrilled that English National Ballet is going to be back on stage with a live audience this winter. It’s been wonderful to see our studios back in action for the creation of these five exciting new works and we can’t wait to share them with our audiences.’

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Laid in Earth is a ‘torn apart’ quartet. It is set to Purcell’s famous aria from Dido and Aeneas – sung live by mezzo soprano Flora McIntosh, as well as new electronic music by Olga Wojciechowska.

Russell Maliphant creates ever shifting choreography and uses light as an integral partner in the creative process. He collaborates on this project with video artist Panagiotis Tomaras and with commissioned sound design by Dana Fouras.

A former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, world-renowned choreographer Yuri Possokhov works with a UK company for the first time. His piece for four dancers, Senseless Kindness, is based on Vasily Grossman’s great novel, Life and Fate, about a Russian family caught in the Second World War and is set to Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No.1.

In Take Five Blues, ENB’s Associate Choreographer, Stina Quagebeur, responds to two of her favourite pieces of music, Bach’s Vivace and Paul Desmond’s jazz standard, Take Five.

Arielle Smith’s Jolly Folly is fast-paced, surprising, and energetic and is driven by the Klazz Brothers’ latin-infused covers of Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Mozart.

The music for Laid in EarthTake Five Blues and Senseless Kindness is performed live by musicians of English National Ballet Philharmonic.

English National Ballet’s previously scheduled performances for Autumn/Winter 2020-2021 have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutcracker Delights replaces cancelled performances of Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. The world premieres of Creature by Akram Khan and Raymonda by Tamara Rojo after Marius Petipa have been postponed to 2021. Those who had purchased tickets for these performances are being contacted directly by the relevant box office.

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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s CBSO Centre series of live Friday concerts

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra brings live music back to Birmingham as CBSO Centre reopens for series of Friday concerts The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is about to bring live classical music back to audiences in Birmingham. Following months of closure as a result of the Covid pandemic, the CBSO Centre will host a brand-new … Read more

Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage In Focus and Autumn 2020 performances with live audience


Sadler’s Wells announces a special socially distanced season for Autumn 2020 

Sadler’s Wells is excited to announce a special new season of live dance and digital content for Autumn 2020, including further performances for socially distanced audiences at Sadler’s Wells Theatre and new details for online programme, Digital Stage In Focus:

  • Live dance continues at Sadler’s Wells this autumn with more performances for socially distanced audiences announced, including Christmas dates, and performances from a stellar line-up of Sadler’s Wells associate companies and artists, including English National Ballet, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, Breakin’ Convention and Ballo Arthur Pita
  • English National Ballet returns to Sadler’s Wells for its first performances since lockdown with a specially commissioned programme of world premieres featuring choreography by Arielle Smith, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Yuri Possokhov and Stina Quagebeur
  • Alexander Whitley Dance Company’s new work Overflow receives its London premiere in November, following earlier cancellations due to the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Breakin’ Convention returns to Sadler’s Wells with Social DisDancingfeaturing new performances from Boy Blue, AIM and Jamaal O’Driscoll
  • Ballo Arthur Pita’s magical The Little Match Girl returns for the festive season, staged in Sadler’s Wells Theatre for the first-time following Christmas performances in the Lilian Baylis Studio
  • Tickets for all performances announced today are available via priority booking from Monday 12 October and on public sale from Thursday 15 October
  • Digital Stage In Focus continues online featuring Sadler’s Wells collaborations with world-leading dance companies ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company and Candoco Dance Companywith full details of bespoke content for digital audiences and participants announced today
  • More digital offerings announced include a new documentary charting the National Youth Dance Company’s special Sadler’s Wells residency and Sadler’s Wells first Virtual Gala

For more information and tickets click here.

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‘Man of the People’: The 15th International Malcolm Arnold Festival online in October 2020

The 15th International Malcolm Arnold Festival
‘A Man of the People’
17 – 18 October 2020
Live-streamed and FREE to view

‘A Man of the People’ is the theme of this year’s Malcolm Arnold Festival; the annual celebration packed with music, films and talks on this multi-faceted composer and his music. Available online for the first time, listeners will be able to join proceedings via the website portal over 17th – 18th October 2020: for more information click here.

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Chelsea Opera Group Make Opera Live Again in November at Cadogan Hall  

Chelsea Opera Group present MAKE OPERA LIVE AGAIN –


At LAST, you can again enjoy real opera, played live and safely, in your presence, by a reduced Orchestra of Chelsea Opera Group with singers of international renown and success and selected players from the Chelsea Opera Group’s own Orchestra, performing in front of a real LIVE audience!

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