National Symphony cancels 3 China concerts due to virus

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Police officers stand guard as protesters stage a rally calling for a ban on Chinese people entering South Korea in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. The death toll in mainland China from the new type of virus has risen to 425, with the total number of cases now standing at 20,438, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Symphony Orchestra has canceled two concerts in Beijing and one in Shanghai next month following China’s virus outbreak.

Music director Gianandrea Noseda had been scheduled to lead performances in Beijing on March 13 and March 14 followed by a concert in Shanghai on March 17, all with Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang. The orchestra said Tuesday the decision was made due to U.S. State Department travel restrictions and the cancellation of its scheduled flights.

NSO executive director Gary Ginstling says “between these logistical developments and the fact that our top priority is the health and well-being of our musicians and artists, it became clear to the NSO that its visit to China would not be possible.”

The orchestra’s first international tour under Noseda was shortened to five performances in Japan from March 6-11, with stops in Fukui, Sakai, Hiroshima and Toyko.

Last week, the Boston Symphony Orchestra canceled an Asian tour from Feb. 6-16 that had includes performances in Seoul, South Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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