Feature "The situation caused by Covid-19  has been inevitably prolongued , but at the same time my orchestra and I are trying to find a solution to normalize the Concerts Season." Jeong So-YeonThe Strad


Massimo Zanetti, Chief Conductor of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra

“The situation caused by Covid-19  has been inevitably prolongued , but at the same time my orchestra and I are trying to find a solution to normalize the Concerts Season.
Since March 2020, the GPO has only met the audience through online concerts.

I came to Korea on June 30th and after a self-isolation period of 14 days I finally started to rehearse with the orchestra on July 14th, to prepare our first live concerts – with audience- as part of the Anthology Series, which were held on July 18 and 19.”

During the Quarantine period, Zanetti met with reporters online, looking healthy beyond the monitor and  he revealed that he would be returning to the podium for the first time after a long wait.

How was to come back to Korea after a long time? What is your expectation and the role of a musician in the current situation?

“ First of all, I would like to say that I was so much looking forward to come back here.
Four concerts were scheduled to be held in February-March, but as soon as I arrived in Seoul on February 24th the situation precipitated and the day after I had to fly back to Italy, where we went into lockdown just a week later.
During the months-long lockdown, I have been longing to be reunited with my orchestra.

As of right now whoever comes to Korea has to complete the mandatory self-quarantine, it is the same situation everywhere: it’s uncertain, worrying and challenging, but we hope to be able to overcome it as it appears to get better.
I came here with great hope and expectation, willing to do my best together with the Gyoenggi Phil and for the  Gyeonggi Art Center.”

How was the Corona 19 situation in Italy? Please tell us about your feelings and experience there.

In Italy the situation was very serious, we were hit in a grievous way; besides the heavy consequences on people well-being, the high death rate and the dire economic impact, the cultural sector has been hit hard in all the disciplines and occupations. All theaters were closed, all concerts and events were cancelled. It wasn’t until mid July that La Scala Theater held the first concert.
Thousands of artists and musicians have been hit very hard, not only in Italy but all over the world.

Music is not only a business: Music is nourishment for the soul, a very important part of our life.

Humanity cannot live without Art and life is not only about money. The cultural aspect of our life has been completely put aside and this scares me: I’m worried that the vital value of Art will be forgotten”.

You will perform the Beethoven’s String Quartet Nr 16 . “’Muss es sein” it’s stated on it: what this means for you in relation to the current situation?
“Beethoven’s statement is written on the top of opening page of the last movement and since then it has been interpreted in the most different ways.

It is indeed quite a dramatic start, as the Recitativo begins this question comes immediately up.

The Strings then proceed in an atmosphere of  questions and answers, developing in the most different aspects and interactions which are combined in an incredibly smooth and harmonious way.

Each person might interpret the meaning of this motto in their own way.

In this very moment I ask myself: Was muss es Sein ? What s hould it be?

For me, Music is the answer:  It should be music! It should be life!  We need to go back to our normal way of  living, rediscovering all the things that are so important for  our soul.”

What do you think music means to us?
“It means everything.

My last performance was in Berlin on January 31st and I haven’t made music since then. For the first time in my life I had to wait so long to go back on stage.
And I’ve never missed music so much.”

Written by Jeong So-Yeon

THE STRAD KOREA  magazine , August 2020