Pandemic

Courtesy of the artist

English concert soloist, recitalist, and opera star Carolyn Sampson was traveling when governments in Europe and the UK began shutting down in early 2020. In this TIME IN interview, she talks about getting home to England, where she's been making online discoveries with her kids, exploring nature, and looking forward to new projects in the offing.

Courtesy of Lisa Batiashvili

Georgian-born violinist Lisa Batiashvili is usually on the move, soloing with orchestras around the world. But since March she’s has been at home with her family in Germany and France. In this TIME IN interview, she talks about the pleasures of re-creating family recipes for her husband and children, playing chamber music with friends, and finding time for yoga and meditation amongst other things.

M. Nicole Fischer

With a career as a concert soloist launched at a very young age, and then a debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic when she was just 8, violinist Sarah Chang continues to perform with world-class ensembles across the globe. She's been honored for her leadership in the arts by the World Economic Forum and Harvard University, and was named Artistic Ambassador by the U.S. Department of State in 2011. 

Courtesy of Chris' Jazz Café

When Center City Philadelphia's Chris' Jazz Café closed its doors in March because of the Coronavirus, the world-famous venue was already a couple of months into a quiet revamp, offering live streaming performances as a natural option for its patrons.

What has been life been like for Philadelphia-based composer Jennifer Higdon since the start of the pandemic? In this late May, 2020 TIME IN interview with WRTI’s Susan Lewis, Jennifer shares how the COVID-19 shutdown has influenced her writing and teaching, and prompted her to explore new activities, including listening to a certain podcast and driving the first car she's owned in 22 years!

Here's a surprising statistic: According to a survey by Chorus America, one in six Americans, or 54 million people, sing in choral groups, whether that's community, school and children's choirs, religious groups or professional ensembles. But since stay-at-home orders have been issued across many states, choral music here and around the world has completely stopped.

Lee Konitz, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ellis Marsalis, Wallace Roney and Henry Grimes are just a few of the jazz greats who have died in recent months from complications due to the coronavirus. Hear WBGO and Jazz Night in America's Christian McBride talk to about the toll the pandemic has taken on the jazz community, and read WBGO's Nate Chinen on the pain of grieving lost musicians during Jazz Appreciation Month in April.

Some people respond to suffering by turning it into art. That's true even with the harrowing experience of a pandemic.

In the early 1400s, an Englishman named John Cooke composed Stella celi, a hymn to the Virgin Mary referencing the Black Plague which, according to some sources, wiped out half of Europe. Its text speaks of the "ulcers of a terrible death" but also the assurance that "the star of heaven ... has rooted out the plague."