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Musicians cancel upcoming Barbican Hall concerts left ‘disappointed’

The Barbican (PA)
The Barbican (PA)

“Disappointed” musicians have been left with no choice but to cancel their upcoming tour dates at the Barbican Hall as the new Covid-19 variant spreads.

Award-winning US composer Maria Schneider was due to return to the Barbican with her 18-piece jazz orchestra, to perform their new album Data Lords – which won two Grammy awards.

However the performance, scheduled for January 29 next year, has been postponed due to rising case numbers and the spread of the Omicron variant.

Schneider said: “Due to the significant new wave of Covid that is tearing through parts of Europe and that is on the rise in the US, with unique testing and quarantining requirements continually in flux in each affected country, coupled with the deep vulnerabilities we face being such a large group of musicians, we have determined that it is not realistic or feasible to carry through with our January/February tour that we have been so excited about.

“Although our decision is in line with the decisions being made by other performing artists trying to navigate international tours right now, that doesn’t help our deep disappointment that we find ourselves all still spinning our wheels amidst Covid.”

Similarly, American indie rock group Lord Huron were due to stage a one-off performance accompanied by a live orchestra at the Barbican in February, which has now been cancelled.

Lord Huron said: “We’re disappointed to announce the cancellation of our February tour of the UK and Europe.

“Unforeseen circumstances and the logistical challenges of ongoing Covid restrictions across various countries have made it unfeasible for the tour to work at this time.”

The Barbican Concert Hall is one of Europe’s leading venues for orchestral and contemporary music events.

Algerian Berber singer, songwriter and guitarist Souad Massi was due to perform songs from her 2020 album Oumniya, which has also been postponed from February to October next year.

Massi said: “Sadly, due to Covid restrictions and regulations, we have to postpone our upcoming performance at the Barbican in London, originally scheduled for Feb 16 to 29 October 2022. We look forward to seeing you all next year.”

Several West End shows, including The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, have also been forced to cancel performances due to outbreaks of coronavirus among cast and crew.

Audiences now have to wear masks and show a Covid passport when attending the theatre, following the emergence of the Omicron variant.

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