As the government’s ban on mass gatherings in response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus comes into effect, arts organisations around the country are announcing the cancellation and postponement of events, while there are increasing calls for the government to support the arts industry and its workers, many of whom are casuals or sole traders.

Photograph courtesy of City Recital Hall

In addition to the cancellations already announced on Friday and over the weekend, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all its concerts until the end of April, the Australian Chamber Orchestra has called off its Arvo Pärt and Shostakovich tour, and Sydney’s Omega Ensemble has postponed its Four Seasons Recomposed until later in 2020. The Australian Ballet has closed its Melbourne season of Volt early, with the company saying it will make an announcement about the Sydney season, due to begin on April 3, as soon as it can. Although tickets to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s concert tonight have been cancelled, the band will play on, streaming the performance from Hamer Hall at 7pm on the orchestra’s YouTube channel.

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