April 6 update: postponements and cancellations at orchestras, conservatories, and concert halls, plus newly announced online media content

Posted on: April 6, 2020

From the time that COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) first impacted the performing arts, 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 resources and information about coping with the pandemic as a service to the orchestra field. These resources include information about the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security package; discussion groups and one-on-one consultations for League members; guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and other authorities; and more. Find regularly updated resources, guidance, and information on the League’s coronavirus preparedness site.

To help reduce the spread of the virus, orchestras and other music organizations are obeying government bans on large gatherings, adhering to shelter-in-place orders, and complying with guidance from health authorities. The following organizations have recently announced postponements, cancellations, and other shifts in concerts and related activities. Several orchestras are posting videos, recordings, and concert streams online free of charge, and many 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 pages for the most up-to-date information. (This list is not complete, and we will continue to post announcements as they arrive.)

The Brevard Music Center (North Carolina) has announced the cancellation of its 2020 Summer Institute and Festival, scheduled for May 30–August 22. Each summer, the organization offers training programs for approximately 500 young classical musicians as well as public concerts and educational programming.

The Chamber Orchestra of New York (New York City) has cancelled the remainder of its 2019-20 season, due to the pandemic and consequent closure of performance venues. The orchestra’s activities this spring included educational programming, concerts at Carnegie Hall and Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, and recording sessions for Naxos.

The Charlotte Symphony (North Carolina) has suspended all concerts through June. The orchestra has launched #CSOatHome, a collection of free digital content that includes streaming audio of past performances, listening guides, and educational materials, with additional content to be released. The Charlotte Symphony is partnering with radio station 89.9 WDAV on broadcasts of archival performances.

The Conway Symphony Orchestra (Arizona) has cancelled is April 25 concert, which was to have been the final concert of its 25th anniversary season.

The Florida Orchestra (St. Petersburg, Florida) is extending concert cancellations through at least May 10. The orchestra began cancelling concerts on March 20. Cancelled upcoming concerts were to take place in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater; free concerts at parks in Clearwater and Tampa have also been cancelled. Recordings of the orchestra’s concerts are being played on local radio stations, and its musicians are posting videos from their homes on social media. The orchestra states that the board of directors is committed to paying musicians and staff through the end of the season in May.

The Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra (California) has postponed its April 26 concert until further notice as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The organization is a community-based orchestra comprising medical professionals as well as individuals in other careers.

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra (Hagerstown, Maryland) has cancelled its concerts at the Maryland Theatre through June 30, due to prohibitions on gatherings of more than ten people.

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra (California) has cancelled or rescheduled all concerts through May 2. Orchestra concerts on April 3-4 and May 1-2 are cancelled. The Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra’s May 2 season finale concert has been rescheduled for May 30, and the May 29 and 30 Cirque de la Symphonie concerts are slated as originally planned, for the time being.

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (Missouri) has cancelled all performances through May 10. These include concerts that were to make up the balance of Stéphane Denève’s first season as music director along with educational and engagement programs and events in a Speakers Series. Performances had previously been cancelled through April 12. The orchestra is posting content including an “Online Instrument Playground” for children and “SLSO at Home” videos at its web-site.

The San Francisco Early Music Society (California) has cancelled the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition of early music, which was scheduled for June. Presented in association with Early Music America, this year’s festival was to be the first to take place in San Francisco. The society pro-motes the advancement of historically informed performance of early music and produces concerts, publications, engagement activities, and affiliate support and educational programs.