A team of leading British musicians were invited to join a virtual meeting with Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, about the future of the music industry following the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Violinist Nicola Benedetti, trumpeter Alison Balsom, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and conductor Simon Rattle had a series of conversations with people within the industry to discuss their concerns, which they passed on to Dowden in a meeting organised on 18 June, at short notice.
The musicians’ statement requests that the government support the industry and collaborate with artists, with sufficient funding given to organisations during the limitations of social distancing and beyond.
The focus of recent discussions within the arts industries has been the limitations of compulsory distancing measures, and what this will mean for the inevitable loss of income for theatres, concert halls and opera houses.
In his statement, Simon Rattle included references to his experiences performing in European cities following the lockdown, how the social distancing measures were carried out and what the UK could do to follow suit.
The full statement from the musicians can be seen below.