Moncton musician’s Taiwan tour cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

A Moncton pianist won’t be travelling to Taiwan to perform later this month after his tour was put on hold due to COVID-19 concerns.

Roger Lord, who is also a professor at Université de Moncton, admits he’s disappointed the tour had to be postponed.

The novel coronavirus has prompted government officials in Taiwan to cancel or postpone large gatherings of more than 100 people, he says.

Lord, who has been playing piano since the age of seven, was expected to play two concerts during his trip between March 15-23. One, he said, was in the capital city of Taipei and the other in Kaohsiung.

Lord credits his family roots for the passion that started about 50 years. He says he’s been in Asia more than 60 times in the last 20 years, mostly for his classical performances.

He says he was recently in contact with the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei discussing the status of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s funny because we had talked about two days prior and everything was fine. They said ‘look, there’s no worries here, there’s only about 20 cases, everything’s under control, it’s probably a bit like Canada right now and people are not in panic mode.’”

But despite monitoring the situation day-by-day, a phone call shortly after changed plans.

“I think out of precaution, one or two days later these new guidelines came out,” he says. “These new guidelines issued by the government concerning public gatherings came out and this did not really permit or allow a gathering of over 100 people.”

While disappointed, Lord knows the decision made is for the best.

He says he expects the concerts will be postponed to fall, pending the status of COVID-19.

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