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Taipei Symphony Orchestra to open new season with Beethoven symphonies

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Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) The Taipei Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to open its new season on March 5 with a concert of two Beethoven symphonies, after COVID-19 forced the orchestra to changes its plans.

The original intention was to invite foreign musicians, but they were unable to travel to Taiwan because of the country's quarantine rules, its principal conductor said Tuesday.

"I said, why don't we do two symphonies, and we don't need a soloist," Eliahu Inbal told reporters, explaining why he and the orchestra decided to play Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 and No. 7 at the season opening concert after the soloists they invited were unable to come.

Taiwan currently requires all arrivals to undergo a 14-day quarantine, which Inbal has done twice himself since October for the orchestra's previous and upcoming seasons.

The concert, which will take place at Zhongshan Hall, will also be recorded, with plans to release the performance as an album in the autumn, Inbal's first with the orchestra.

"Working with the orchestra is a great pleasure for me, because I always feel that the musicians are very, very present, very involved, very enthusiastic, and we really get results, so there is always improvement," Inbal said about the orchestra. He became its principal conductor in March 2019.

"I begin to feel, little by little, like I'm here at home, at my family," the 85-year-old conductor said. "My orchestra, they are like my family."

During the upcoming season which runs through May 29, Inbal will conduct five concerts, while the group will also work with several other guest conductors for a few concerts, as well as present chamber music performances, according to the orchestra.

The orchestra will also hold four free open-air concerts, two in Rongxing Garden Park April 10-11, and two others at Da'an Park May 8-9, according to its program for the season.

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