The Columbus Symphony musician looks to music—and the Internet—for solace.

Between playing cello with the Columbus Symphony, leading two community orchestras and conducting BalletMet’s annual “The Nutcracker,” Luis Biava is among the busiest music-makers in Central Ohio. Then, while preparing to lead a performance of the New Albany Symphony Orchestra, the pandemic hit. —Peter Tonguette

We were just about to have our choir come in, and we did do a couple of rehearsals with the singers and the soloists. We just wanted to be safe. The rehearsals were canceled. We tried to do a postponement, but, of course, it never worked out. Plus, we canceled our other concert—and everything else, too.

It has been difficult. I’m lucky to have [wife and violinist] Ariane [Sletner] here, for sure, to have us be together and play here and there. The sadness, of course, to me, besides not having any work, is the incredible amount of deaths that have happened, and the difficulty that everybody has had, more so than us: the doctors, the nurses especially, even the people at Giant Eagle, the workers and the bus drivers.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

We were about to go to Colombia to see my aunt play a concerto—once again, music. That got canceled at the last minute, but she managed to do a performance with no audience right in the middle of March before it got even worse. We saw that online. But mostly it’s the sadness about how difficult it’s been for the world with people suffering—all those families.

We want to come back with music when it’s truly safe. Thank God for the internet—that we’ve been able to pass these things on to families and our subscribers. I know that music does help. Art, music, literature: all that helps us to survive this long, and now it’s going to be longer. We’ve got this surge again.


Subscribe to Columbus Monthly magazine so that you keep abreast of the most exciting and interesting events and destinations to explore, as well as the most talked-about newsmakers shaping life in Columbus.