Photo/Illutration Members of the Kyoto Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra are seated farther apart than usual as they perform at Kyoto Concert Hall on June 13. (Kenta Sujino)

KYOTO--Classical music fans could once again enjoy a live performance as the Kyoto Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra took the stage here on June 13, its first in about three months, and the nation's first after the new coronavirus pandemic hit Japan.

As Japan is easing COVID-19 restrictions in stages, precautionary measures against possible infections were evident during the performance at Kyoto Concert Hall in Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward.

The musicians all wore face masks except for those playing wind instruments. They were also placed farther apart from 1.5 meters to 2 meters and played amid acrylic shields to prevent the transmission of the potential pathogen.

The number of spectators was limited to up to 100 although the venue had a seating capacity of 500.

The first two rows were kept empty.

Despite the precautions, a live concert was what many classical music aficionados have looked forward to after a number of performances were canceled following the outbreak.

“I was thrilled to hear a live performance that I have waited so long for,” said a 69-year-old woman from Kyoto’s Nishikyo Ward.

According to the Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras, the Kyoto Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra is the first to give a concert among its member orchestras.