Socially distanced orchestra finds unique way of celebrating Beethoven's 250th anniversary

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Andy Dickenson


So, what does an orchestra do during lockdown?

With performances cancelled the Sussex-based Hanover Band has had to refund tens of thousands of pounds paid in advance for tickets this year - a year in which it had hoped to celebrate Beethoven's 250th anniversary.

The musicians' solution has been labelled, both brave and audacious.

It's an incredibly tricky time, no one could ever have prepared for this and I think this shows the spirit of my mum, who founded The Hanover Band. She was a doer, she had real vision, and I'm so proud that we've been able to come together, even at a 2m distance. We've been able to do tremendous things.

Katie Neiman, The Hanover Band

The Hanover Band had planned to perform all of Beethoven's symphonies throughout this year - instead it has recorded the majority of them in little over a week. Its musicians socially distanced, its audience online.

With almost 40 concerts cancelled, these productions mark a £200,000 investment in a year where many of the performers have struggled for work.

The challenge now to record Beethoven's 9th, requiring a choir, while observing the rule of six.

We meet as a group, we play as a group and we perform to audiences who are groups so it's kind of a triple whammy of bed news this virus. But being able to have a large online audience - it's probably actually more people than you can fit into a concert hall - is also quite good I think

Benjamin Bayl, Conductor

An orchestra used to touring the world reduced, but not limited, by space and time, as it too celebrates its 40th anniversary.

The symphonies will begin streaming every Wednesday through to December.