March 20 update: postponements and cancellations at orchestras, conservatories, and concert halls due to coronavirus outbreak

Posted on: March 20, 2020

From the time that COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) first impacted the performing arts several weeks ago, The Hub has been tracking postponements and cancellations by U.S. and international orchestras, performing arts centers, and conservatories.

The League of American Orchestras is posting information about COVID-19 preparedness as a service to the orchestra field. Find resources, guidance, and updates on the League’s coronavirus preparedness site.

To help limit the spread of the virus, the following arts organizations have recently announced postponements, cancellations, and other shifts in concerts and related activities. The organizations are offering a variety of options to exchange, donate, refund, or adjust previously purchased tickets. Several orchestras are now making videos, recordings, and livestreams available online free of charge, and some conservatories have moved to online learning. Please note that these organizations are revising their plans as the situation evolves; refer to their individual websites and social media for the most up-to-date information. (This list is not complete, and we will continue to post announcements as they arrive.)

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (Michigan) will suspend its April 25 concert. The orchestra had previously suspended March programming. A program scheduled for March 14 and 15 will be condensed into one performance on June 27.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Texas) has cancelled all concerts and events through April 29, due to restrictions on public gatherings ​larger than 50. The orchestra is making video and audio recordings available online, and musicians will produce videos and photos for social media.

The Durham Symphony Orchestra (North Carolina) has cancelled its April 4 concert at the Emily K. Center and its April 19 concert at the Hayti Heritage Center; the latter was to have featured world premieres by North Carolina composers.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Michigan) has cancelled or rescheduled all concerts and events through April 5, 2020. These include full-orchestra concerts, chamber recitals, school and community concerts, jazz performances, and events in the orchestra’s Cube space. The Detroit Symphony is offering free access to its on-demand archive of webcast performances. Civic Youth Ensembles and Detroit Community Ensembles rehearsals and performances are suspended through April 5.

The Grand Rapids Symphony (Michigan) has cancelled all concerts through at least through Saturday, April 11.

The Greenville Symphony Orchestra (South Carolina) has cancelled all concerts and events through remainder of its 2019-20 season on May 12. Cancelled performances and events include full-orchestra, chamber, and children’s concerts as well as a fundraising gala.

The Handel and Haydn Society (Boston, Massachusetts) has cancelled its May 1 and 3 performances at Symphony Hall. In addition, the H+H Society Ball Gala, scheduled for May 2, will be postponed. The orchestra previously cancelled its April 3 and 5 concerts.

The Jacksonville Symphony (Florida) has cancelled concerts through April 1, due to the closure of the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. The organization is exploring options for livestreams. The cancellation of the orchestra’s appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras was previously announced.

Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra (Lincoln, Nebraska) cancelled its March 14 concert at the Lied Center for Performing Arts and its annual gala. The orchestra moved items that were to have been sold at an in-person silent auction to an online auction. On March 18, the orchestra produced a Facebook Livestream featuring Music Director​ Edward Polochick.

The Mobile Symphony Orchestra (Alabama) has cancelled its April 4 and 5 concerts. The concerts scheduled for May 2 and 3 have been postponed and will be rescheduled. The orchestra will provide recordings from previous seasons on its YouTube page for free.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (New York) has postponed all concerts through May 9, 2020. ​As previously announced, the Rochester Philharmonic and the Eastman School of Music live-streamed the orchestra’s March 13 schools concert.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School (East Providence, Rhode Island) has postponed concerts by the orchestra through May 2. The orchestra had previously cancelled its March concert. The music school has suspended all activities through April 18, and is offering online private instruction for current students as an option.

The San Francisco Symphony (California) has previously announced cancellations of performances and tours. The orchestra is now making all documentary and concert episodes of its Keeping Score video series featuring Michael Tilson Thomas available for free streaming on the symphony’s YouTube channel.