NY Philharmonic returns after 18-month pause

The world-renowned New York Philharmonic has returned to the stage after an 18-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The orchestra played before an audience in a New York theater on Friday.

The theater has strict anti-virus measures in place and bans unvaccinated people from entering, including children under 12 years of age who are not eligible to be vaccinated. Concertgoers have to show their smartphones with proof of vaccination to enter the venue.

The performance was titled "From Silence to Celebration" to mark the orchestra's comeback from the suspension.

As the performers stepped on stage, the audience greeted them with a standing ovation.

A member of the orchestra, cellist Kudo Sumire, said she had long been waiting to perform again and that it had sometimes felt like this day would never come.

A New Yorker at the concert said the performance was excellent. He said he was happy that live music had finally returned.

New York City is gradually reopening with anti-virus measures in place. Broadway musicals resumed performances on Tuesday. Ballet and opera theaters are also set to reopen.