NSO holds first concert before live audience since March

TAIPEI (CNA) — The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) held its first concert before a live audience since March at the National Concert Hall in Taipei Sunday.

The concert, announced Thursday as the first of three concerts to be broadcast online by the Public Television Service, allowed 500 people to attend the live event in person, according to a statement released Friday.

The 500 free slots, available for members of the National Theater and Concert Hall’s (NTCH’s) ticketing service, were snapped up in less than an hour on Saturday, the venue operator said.

Culture Minister Lee Yung-de (李永得), who attended the concert, said the event is part of a two-week trial by his ministry to reopen arts and cultural events, and that discussions will be held with the Centers for Disease Control on further opening.

Culture Minister Lee Yung-de (center) has his temperature checked when entering the National Concert Hall.

A total of 450 people were admitted to the 2,000-seat concert hall, according to the NTCH, which added that whether future NSO concerts will allow live audiences is not yet decided.

The next NSO online concert is scheduled for May 30.

The NSO canceled or postponed all its performances through July since early March due to the ongoing COVID-19 conoravirus pandemic and Taiwan’s ban on the entry to the country of most foreign nationals from March 19.