Alexander Briger, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Australian World Orchestra, reports from Paris during this time of coronavirus. He talks about the flurry of interrupted engagements, his new daily routine, his thoughts about the industry’s future, and offers up a playlist to get us through lockdown.

Alexander Briger in Paris. Photo supplied

When did you realise or accept that you were going to have to see out the coronavirus away from home, and the impact that it would have on your engagements for the foreseeable future? How did you feel and was there a grieving process?

At first none of us took it really seriously but then suddenly there were all these texts going back and forth between my agent, family, and me about trying to get on a plane to get back to Australia [from France] as soon as possible so as to fulfil an engagement I had coming up in April with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It crept up on us like that old 50s horror movie The Blob! Every day I woke up to more bad news, more texts saying “get on a plane!”, more restrictions from...