The rasp of brass; the sheen of strings; the glamour of winds; the thrum of percussion…and an ache in the heart.

With the BSO, along with just about every other orchestra in the world, forced to cancel or postpone performances for the duration of this terrible pandemic, many of us are missing the vibrant thrill of real live music. We are robbed of the excited anticipation of pressing through the doors of a BSO venue to hear top-flight performances of music, familiar and new, in favourite locations.

Of course there are recordings, and some very fine ones. For a moment of pure calm try Nicola Benedetti with the orchestra and Kirill in Korngold’s Marietta’s Lied from The Silver Violin (Decca 478 3529). If you are raging against the injustice of all this, join in the savagery of Terterian’s Third Symphony (Chandos CHSA 5241). If you need to experience a full range of orchestral emotions, try Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony (Onyx 4147). These, and many others, are all essentials on the shutdown playlist.

But, brilliant as they are, they can’t replace the whole experience of live music. There is a positive energy in the immersive experience of live music that can only be felt in a real concert hall. There is also wonder at seeing the BSO’s incredibly talented players actually at work, there in front of us. And there is the great sense of coming together for a shared journey that being part of a live audience creates.

Lots of companies and organisations in all sectors of the economy are in terrible trouble because of this essential but frighteningly open-ended shutdown. The BSO will be back, but when, where and how we can’t yet know. Meanwhile, to keep hope alive, the orchestra needs all the support it can get to keep these brilliant brass players, outstanding strings, stunning winds and punchy percussionists playing until they can perform together again and bring back the joy of living music.

Turn your tickets into a donation, or make a separate gift.  Or both!

Tom Wickson, audience member and proud supporter of the BSO