The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its performances of Mahler 5 and Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto scheduled for tonight (March 15) and tomorrow, as part of the Adelaide Festival, because a member of the ASO team has had to self-isolate due to the coronavirus.

Photograph courtesy of ASO

The orchestra’s Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello has issued a statement in which he says: “Late last night, I was informed that a member of the ASO team may have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). That ASO team member is now in isolation.”

“As I am unable to establish with complete certainty that there is no risk to ASO staff, musicians and our audience, and out of an abundance of caution, it is with regret that I have no choice but to cancel the performances…”

“Nicholas Carter, Anthony Marwood and the musicians of the ASO are bitterly disappointed, as are all of us at the ASO,” said Ciccarello. “Obviously we are operating in a very fluid situation and we look forward to presenting concerts again before long.”

Ciccarello has encouraged ticket holders to support the orchestra by exchanging their tickets for another ASO concert later in the year, but has said that refunds will be provided to those who would prefer their money back.

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra has also cancelled a concert programmed for tonight, Dances with Daphnis. As late as yesterday the concert was scheduled to go ahead, but a decision was made today to cancel it. A message on its website says: “In light of the Australian Government’s recommendation that all organised, non-essential gatherings of 500 or more people should not proceed we have decided to cancel tonight’s performance Dances with Daphnis”.

Meanwhile, WASO’s concerts with Ben Folds, scheduled for March 16 and 17, have been postponed until January 2021.

Last night, the Queensland Ballet announced that in the light of the federal government’s decision to limit gatherings of more than 500 people, it has postponed its 60th Anniversary Gala, scheduled for March 20 – 28. “We will be working with QPAC to reschedule this important anniversary celebration and expect to finalise the new dates next week,” said the statement from Artistic Director Li Cunxin.

The musical Come From Away will close in Melbourne tomorrow, (March 15) a week earlier than planned due to the coronavirus, but the production will return to the Comedy Theatre for a six-week season in February 2021.

Tim Minchin has postponed his forthcoming shows in Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. Minchin said in a series of posts on Twitter: “We’ve no real choice, I’m afraid. Gutted for my audiences who have saved & traveled. And for my band & crew who lose work. And for the venues & promoter. And for myself, cos I HATE not delivering.” Minchin said they are “hustling to reschedule”.

These cancellations follow a number announced yesterday. Inevitably many more will follow with many companies planning announcements on Monday.