April 9 update: postponements and cancellations at orchestras, conservatories, and concert halls

Posted on: April 9, 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 Boston Symphony Orchestra (Massachusetts) has announced the cancellation of the Boston Pops’ spring season, which was to take place May 16–June 13. The Pops season was planned to mark Keith Lockhart’s 25-year tenure as conductor; events celebrating that anniversary will take place in the Pops’ 2021 spring season. This announcement follows the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s cancellation of its own performances at Symphony Hall in Boston and events at the Linde Center at Tanglewood through May 2. The Boston Symphony Orchestra states that the 2020 Tanglewood season is currently slated to proceed as scheduled, but that plans may be changed due to the pandemic.

The Canton Symphony Orchestra (Ohio) has cancelled all events for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, which was to have run until June 25. The orchestra had previously cancelled or postponed all events through May 8.

The Houston Symphony (Texas) has cancelled all concerts and community activities through the month June due to the pandemic. These include performances at its home, Jones Hall, as well as neighborhood concerts, outdoor concerts at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, and the Ima Hogg Competition for young instrumentalists. The Houston Symphony is posting content including musician videos, blogs, archival audio and video performances, and more on its social media pages and the “listen at Home” section of its website.

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale (San Francisco, California) has cancelled the remaining performances of its 2019-20 season. The orchestra had previously cancelled concerts in March; cancellations now run through April 19. The orchestra performs in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Berkeley; venues have been shut down and large gatherings are prohibited in all three cities to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Sarasota Orchestra (Florida) has announced the cancellation of the remainder of its 2019-20 season as well as the Sarasota Music Festival in June, following guidance from government and health officials. The Sarasota Music Festival presents concerts by established artists and is a summer music academy for emerging professional musicians; this year’s festival was to have taken place May 31-June 20. The orchestra has launched “Music Moves Us,” featuring videos and music on its website and social media. Radio station WSMR 89.1 is broadcasting ​archived Sarasota Orchestra concerts every week.