Utah Symphony furloughs musicians, cancels season after Salt Lake County mandates hall closures

Posted on: April 1, 2020

“The 85 musicians of the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera have been furloughed, an economic byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic,” writes Sean P. Means in Monday’s (3/30) Salt Lake Tribune. “ ‘I am personally devastated that we have to take this action,’ Patricia A. Richards, interim president of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, said…. ‘But I do feel it is the best way to deal with this crisis in the short run while preserving our best options to maintain the viability of the organization so that orchestra jobs will still be available after the crisis.’ … The 57 staff members of USUO, Richards said, … may see ‘salary adjustments.’… The USUO board voted to give musicians a ‘supplemental weekly retention payment’—and will pay for the musicians’ medical, dental and instrument insurance during this gap period…. The Utah Symphony has not performed since early March, after Salt Lake County closed its four performing-arts venues … to limit mass gatherings where the coronavirus might spread…. After the county’s action, Utah Symphony canceled the rest of its 2019-2020 season…. Last week, USUO officials promised the symphony would be making music again this summer, for its schedule of community concerts and the annual Deer Valley Music Festival.”