…We decided to publish this letter that the orchestra received from Maestro Hobart Earle on April the 10th.
These words give us hope that we will return to the stage as soon as possible and perform for you, dear listeners!
Stay safe – be well !
Here is the letter from Hobart:
April 10, 2020
Dorogiye moyi :
Never could I imagine I’d be writing a letter to you like this. There were letters (for example, way back in the 1990s, when times were hard) but recently there was no real need to write, because all was well – that wonderful saying “sobaki layut, karavan idyot” applies fully to our orchestra these past years.
The upward curve of the quality of our concerts in recent years has been tangible. The worldwide crisis we are all facing today, however, is an entirely different matter. The upward curve of the Covid19 virus is wreaking havoc throughout the entire planet.
Many professions will struggle for a long time to recover. And, nobody in the performing arts anywhere will escape this pandemic “unscathed” in some way, shape or form.
The last concerts we gave together, in early March, are etched clearly in my memory – as are many other recent concerts, including Weinberg and Penderecki. Viktoriya Ivanovna was already hard at work with my markings for the orchestral parts of Liszt’s fabulous “Faust Symphony” ( I’ll bet nobody in Ukraine remembers when they last played that piece ! ) and there were so many colorful plans for the months ahead. The very first piece I planned to conduct with you – next week, no less – was the world premiere of our composer-in-residence Oleg Bezborodko’s eight minute “Carpe Diem” (latin for “Seize the Day”), a colorful piece written for us and finished barely a month ago. Little could Oleg imagine, when he set out on this composition, how relevant it would become to life on our planet at present !
I can’t hide the truth. I am concerned. And I have to be honest: I wonder, when will I conduct my next concert ? I worry, I fret about the effects on our profession. These are normal human emotions, and I share them without any kind of shame. Today, there is no way to tell how we will all come out of this. Both as an orchestra and individually.
There is hope, however: there alway is.
I am reminded of our “May-day” concerts in 2014. These were less than 2 months after our “Flash-Mob” in the Privoz, and less than 5 days after the tragedy of May 2. Everybody canceled concerts – and all public events – in Odessa. Even many of you were worried (rightly so) about safety, were we to play our concerts. My answer was – “we will play”, and I can remember saying to you all, back then: “people need our music now, more than ever” .
The one thing I can assure you is that whenever we do return to give our next concert, the same words will apply.
In the meantime, we need to cultivate patience like never before.
No responsible government anywhere on the planet will open up their countries for “business as usual” (whether that will mean, post Covid19) earlier than necessary. Even in Singapore – where there was almost nothing – the last few days have seen a spike in Covid19 cases, and deaths. No country can be immune to this pandemic – nor to it’s effects, small and large, far and wide.
Let us hope Ukraine will not be hit too hard.
Please take good care of yourselves !
And – as we say in English:
“keep the faith”
As an orchestra, we shall return, stronger than ever for what we have gone through !
PS: in the local calendar, today is “Den Osvobozhdeniya Odessa” so I send each and every one of you my hearty congrats on this day !