At many venues, attendees had been required to offer their names and cellphone numbers for use for tracing in case of an outbreak. Masks and temperature checks had been required. Some live performance halls barred the promoting of meals and drinks. Seats at some areas had been staggered to resemble flowers, in an association that got here to be recognized in Taiwan as “plum blossom seating.”
Despite the vigilance, there have been occasional scares. More than 100 individuals had been compelled to quarantine in March of final yr after coming into contact with the Australian composer Brett Dean, who examined constructive for the virus after performing in Taiwan. The incident was front-page information in Taiwan, with some individuals fuming that Dean — whose “Hamlet” is scheduled on the Metropolitan Opera in New York subsequent season — had been allowed to carry out though he had a cough.
Lydia Kuo, the chief director of the National Symphony Orchestra, which collaborated with Dean, mentioned the scare taught the orchestra the significance of sustaining strict well being measures even when infections had been close to zero.
“We were facing an unknown enemy,” she mentioned. “We were lucky to face this reality very early.”
Taiwan’s still-active cultural scene attracted expertise from world wide over the previous yr when many artists had been with out steady work and confined at dwelling. There had been visits by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the German organist Felix Hell, and Ma, the famend cellist, who chartered a flight to the island for a tour in November.
Many musicians with roots in Taiwan have additionally returned, some for an prolonged go to. Ray Chen, a violinist, got here again in August on the urging of his household and has taken half in about 20 dwell concert events, grasp lessons and music schooling outreach occasions since then. He mentioned he was struck by the care individuals confirmed towards each other and the widespread adherence to public well being guidelines, even when Taiwan went months with none reported infections.
“Everyone is willing to play a part,” Chen mentioned. “Everyone values life.”
Taiwan’s strict strategy has not been standard in all corners of the creative world. After the outbreak this month, some artists questioned the federal government’s resolution to shut efficiency venues, involved that it will damage performers’ revenue.