Postponement due to Corona virus situation

Skopje/Essen/Aachen, 27.02.2020
Dear Friends of the WBYO,
to our greatest regret we have to postpone the upcoming first working phase and concert tour of the Western Balkans Youth Orchestra, due to the development of the Corona Virus in Europe. This is a decision which is really hard for us, and we know that the many persons who have been involved will be very disappointed (as we are ourselves), but in the current situation we think it is inevitable. We have to take responsibility for the sake of the musicians and lecturers. And we think this project is too important to let its execution be impaired through the current Corona situation. We plan to postpone this first working phase and concert tour unchanged to a later, better time period which we will coordinate with our project partners shortly, and we hope very much that they will maintain their participation and support for the project!
What brought us to this decision:
In the recent days, there has been a significant spreading of the affected regions within Europe. First infections are now also reported from our state Northrhine-Westfalia in Germany, from Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Kroatia, and North Macedonia. We have talked to a number of doctors who unanimously said they expect the virus to spread into other European countries and clearly advised not to pursue with our plan for the time being. The renowned Robert-Koch-Institute writes: "The global development indicates, that it may come to a world wide spreading of the virus in the sense of a pandemia." The risk that our orchestra can be trapped in a hotel or at a border somewhere on the tour, and the risk that there will come public advices to cancel public gatherings (like in a concert), or that concert goers decide for themselves to stay home we deem high. Similar thoughts we have received in the last hours from a number of our supporters in the region. These things happen every day now in European countries where the virus has arrived. We have been informed that a number of large companies have cancelled trips and meetings within Europe for their employees. We do not intend to frighten anybody, as these are all precautionary measures, but they would affect our tour nevertheless. In short: We think the risk that our first working phase & concerts and its participants will be severly impaired by the Corona development is too high. We do hope for your understanding!
As soon as we have found a new time slot we will inform on this webpage.
Sorry for all this - but this development is out of our control.
Kind regards
Desar Sulejmani                                    Raska Sulejmani                            Reinhard Goethe
Artistic Director of the                          WBYO Project Manager               President Rotary Club Aachen-Land,
Western Balkans Youth Orchestra                                                              for the "Rotary Network for WBYO"