5 Music Moments Connecting Us During COVID-19

Music and the arts create shared experiences, fostering the empathy and human connections that are the bedrock of public diplomacy. The next era of our field must nurture this renewed sense of global togetherness to continue our pursuit of a common good.

We invite you to enjoy this roundup of recent moments in music and technology that connect cultures and societies around the world.

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

On March 20, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra uploaded a "physical distancing"-compliant group recording of "Ode to Joy" (Symphony No. 9) by Ludwig van Beethoven garnering more than 2 million views. 


On March 13, internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma began uploading a series of private home performances with the hashtag #SongsOfComfort in response to worldwide anxieties over the COVID-19 pandemic. Ma's initiative was featured by PBS Newshour special, and he continues to upload new performances to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

For more on Ma's work in cultural diplomacy such as his #CultureConnectsUs initiative or Silk Road Ensemble performances, see CPD's "10 Great Moments in Music Diplomacy".

Los Angeles Philharmonic

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has partnered with classical radio stations KUSC and KDFC to produce "At Home with Gustavo," a new radio show in English and Spanish featuring music and conversations between conductor Gustavo Dudamel and KUSC's Brian Lauritzen. Broadcast schedule can be viewed here.


The World Health Organization and international advocacy organization Global Citizen partnered to launch "Together at Home," convening leading musical artists such as John Legend, Chris Martin and others to promote unity during the COVID-19 social distancing protocols. Information about upcoming artists and performance dates can be viewed here.

The New Yorker features Italy's resident musicians

On March 19, in response to viral videos of Italian neighborhoods performing music together while practicing social distancing, The New Yorker released this compilation of performances and interviews with residents partaking in this seemingly newfound way of remaining connected. The original article can be viewed here.

Don't see your favorite on this list? We welcome your top picks via comments below or on social media: Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook.

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