The Master Pianists concert series ceases to exist after 33 years. The corona crisis forces the Riaskoff Concert Management to stop the series in the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, makes the management bureau announced on Thursday.
“We bow our heads. A maximum of 350 visitors, in a Great Hall that, under normal circumstances, is designed to welcome about 2,000, that poses a problem that we cannot compete with,” writes impresario Marco Riaskoff. in a press statement.
“What seemed unimaginable six months ago, a pandemic that would simply wipe out our well-attended presentations by world-class pianists, has now become a fact.”
It is the first time since the outbreak of the corona crisis that a concert series of this caliber has stopped in classical music. In the past six months, Riaskoff has had to cancel six recitals for which high costs were incurred. Thirteen concerts were planned for the coming season, plus four catch-up concerts.
Concert series already in dire straits before the corona crisis
Riaskoff rented the Main Hall in the Concertgebouw with Master Pianists. The concert series was independent and received no subsidy from the government. In the past the world famous pianists Alfred Brendel, Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini and Lang Lang have performed.
In an interview with de Volkskrant 73-year-old Riaskoff says that Master Pianists had already run into financial difficulties before the corona crisis. Sixteen hundred people had to be present at every concert to cover the costs. “In my glory years I had ten sponsors. In the last three years I only had one.” Riaskoff employed two people.
The Royal Concertgebouw had already been forced to reorganize due to the loss caused by the corona crisis. Despite government support, the Amsterdam music hall is facing a loss of 3.5 million euros this year. The Concertgebouw has been open again since 1 July, but losses are likely to increase as long as the corona measures remain in effect.