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The Calgary Philharmonic preps for fall season amid coronavirus pandemic

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) is hoping the woodwind is out of the COVID-19 sails by this fall, but they’ve got ideas should the coronavirus pandemic still be playing out come September.

The CPO unveiled its upcoming season and launched a new logo and website in a special online announcement Tuesday.

The CPO is “looking ahead in a spirit of optimism and hope,” said CPO music director, Rune Bergmann, in a shared video message from his home in Norway.

In an interview with LiveWire Calgary, Bergmann expressed his concerns about the current global pandemic situation. He talked about the COVID-19 measures for public gatherings and the options the CPO will put together for its audience.

To start, he’s thankful they’ve backed up past performances, in case live performances aren’t possible. It’s a way for them to still reach audiences who may still be stuck in their homes and unable to enjoy the thrill of a live performance.

They began doing livestreams back in 2017 and have a library of content to fall back on.

“I think that this is a typical example of why and how this is so important to have those things in our library,” he said.

“Yeah, and that we can pull it off and stay in touch with our audience, even though we can’t play live performances. I really hope that we can do even more live streams in the upcoming season.”

Hoping for a coronavirus decrescendo

The Orchestra is currently taking one day at a time. They’re hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic ease up over the summer.

They will stick to plan A, with live performances. If the current situation continues, their musicians would meet online and record the concerts to reach their audience.

“There’s so many things happening now, not only with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, but in the whole world. We are developing different reasons to keep going,” Bergmann said.

“I think this coronavirus, it’s kind of a setback. But at the same time, it forces us to think differently. And hopefully, there will come something good out of this.”

He said it forces organizations to think about new ways of delivering services – or, in this case, live music.

CPO celebrating 65 years in Calgary

The upcoming season marks a big milestone for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as it celebrates 65 years.

The season includes Broadway sensation Bernadette Peters and superstar violinist Joshua Bell. It also includes the debut of a new composition for the children’s classic The Caboose Who Got Loose. They’ll also have pop favourites, contemporary works, family specials films in concert, and more.

The Calgary Philharmonic also launched its new logo and website, which reflects the organization’s focus on harmony and community.

The new Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra logo. CONTRIBUTED

“As we’ve witnessed in recent weeks, music has the power to bring us together and strengthen our community,” said Paul Dornian, President and CEO of the Calgary Philharmonic.