“For much of the past year, Taiwan has been a sanctuary for performing artists, the rare almost-Covid-free place where audiences could cram into concert halls to hear live music,” writes Javier Hernandez in Tuesday’s (5/25) New York Times. “A recital of Bach’s cello suites by Yo-Yo Ma … was attended by more than 4,000 people. But a recent surge in cases … has brought a halt to cultural life on the island, forcing performing arts centers, concert halls and museums to shutter…. ‘Everything blew up,’ said the American clarinetist Charles Neidich, who recently made the 7,781-mile trip from New York to Taipei only to have his first live performance in more than 400 days canceled. Neidich, who had been engaged to play a clarinet concerto by the American composer John Corigliano with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, endured two weeks of hotel quarantine, one of the strict measures that had helped Taiwan tame the virus…. Even though the number of cases in Taiwan is low compared with many parts of the world … the authorities are doubling down on restrictions, hoping that lockdowns can bring the virus under control within weeks or months as Taiwan tries to speed its lumbering vaccine rollout.”