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Composer Brett Dean withdraws from weekend Adelaide Festival show after coronavirus diagnosis

Brett Dean
Bettina Stoess
Brett Dean

Australian composer and conductor Brett Dean will no longer appear as part of Adelaide Festival’s weekend Beethoven tribute after testing positive for COVID-19.

ABC News reported yesterday that a 58-year-old man had become the latest confirmed South Australian case of the virus. This morning Adelaide Festival organisers confirmed today that the man in question is Brisbane-born composer and viola player Brett Dean.

Dean is currently in quarantine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital after arriving in Adelaide on Tuesday, having recently returned to Australia from a performance in Taiwan.

“The health and safety of the public, our artists and our staff are of paramount importance to the Adelaide Festival and we are following the advice provided to us by SA Health and instituting appropriate measures meticulously,” Adelaide Festival executive director Rob Brookman said in a statement. “We are obviously very concerned for the health of Brett who is receiving the best of care, and we hope that he has a swift and full recovery.”

Festival organisers have advised they are working with SA Health to follow necessary protocols, with three other people placing themselves into voluntary quarantine in Adelaide since Dean entered isolation. This week SA Health confirmed it had opened a specialised clinic at the Royal Adelaide Hospital to speedily test possible coronavirus patients, as Dean joins a handful of confirmed cases in the state.

Dean was due to conduct the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Saturday night’s celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, The Sound of History. A collaboration with historian Christopher Clark and the ASO, the concert was set to cover and contextualise Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Symphonies 1, 2 and 3, as well as Dean’s Testament. But the show will go on.

7 March

The Sound of History: Beethoven, Napoleon and Revolution

Walter Marsh

Walter Marsh

Digital Editor
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Walter is a writer, editor and broadcaster living on Kaurna Country. His work has appeared in Rip It Up, The Saturday Paper, Smith Journal, Royal Auto, Swampland Magazine, Broadsheet and The Thousands.

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