ANNOUNCEMENT – 16 March 2020
With much sadness, I must announce that the double festival of ISCM World New Music Days and Asian Composers League Festival cannot take place in 2020. We were very much looking forward to presenting this ambitious double festival for the first time in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This difficult decision has been necessitated by recent global developments, as governments attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, in particular the border closures and other restrictions that many countries have been putting in place over the past few days.
On Saturday 14 March, the New Zealand government announced that international visitors and New Zealanders returning from overseas must undertake 14 days self-isolation upon arrival. Furthermore, our government has today announced that all events of more than 500 people should be cancelled. We are very concerned about people’s health, and we appreciate the only known way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ‘flatten the curve’ is to radically reduce population movement and large gatherings.
The Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ) has been asked by the ISCM to postpone the World New Music Days in New Zealand by two years, which would mean hosting the festival and General Assembly meetings in the year of the ISCM’s Centenary. CANZ is very hopeful that this will be possible, and that insofar as it is possible, the musical works that were carefully submitted and selected for performance this year will instead be presented in 2022.
Similarly, we are delighted to say that ACL has also expressed a desire that the ACL part of this festival is also postponed until 2022. So we hope to present the full double festival (ISCM and ACL) in 2022.
In the meantime, we wish you health, strength, and new ways to engage with the music and culture of our wonderfully diverse regions, and look forward enthusiastically to welcoming you to the festival in 2022.
Glenda Keam, Festival Director