In a strange way, it was easier to identify broader trends in Australian orchestras for the 2021 programs with all the uncertainty. As we enter 2022, the picture has become murkier just as it seems our lives are becoming somewhat clearer. For some it is an attempt to return to the old normal, while others remain cautious.

One clear indicator of the mood among the orchestras is how they have tackled COVID-19 in their marketing materials for 2022. Compared to the abundance of hygiene precautions that took centre stage for 2021, this time around one could almost forget the pandemic had ever occurred. Intervals are back! The only lingering hints are often found in footnotes and conditions around advance purchases on more flexible refund conditions or, in the case of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, only announcing half the season.

2021 saw a concentrated push to the potential of online platforms for live performance, and it is fascinating to see who is maintaining this...