April 17 update: postponements and cancellations at orchestras, conservatories, and concert halls

Posted on: April 17, 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 Hartford Symphony Orchestra (Connecticut) has announced the cancellation of its June 5-7 performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The orchestra had previously cancelled concerts through May 10.

The Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), parent organization of the National Symphony Orchestra and other groups, has cancelled all performances and events through May 22, following the city’s extension of stay-at-home orders. The National Symphony Orchestra’s May 14 and 15 concerts are cancelled, as are appearances by the Emerson String Quartet with Renée Fleming, the Kennedy Center Chamber Players, and opera, theater, dance, family, and jazz performances. The Kennedy Center had previously announced shutdowns through early May.

The Lima Symphony Orchestra (Ohio) has cancelled its April 18 concert, which was to have been led by James ​Blachly, the final candidate in the orchestra’s music-director search this season. The orchestra states that it will proceed with the choice of a music director.

The North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (Tupelo, Mississippi) has announced the cancellation of April 18 concert. The orchestra is posting content from its musicians on its Facebook page as part of its #livefromhome initiative.

The Orchestra of Northern New York (Potsdam, New York) has cancelled its summer pops concerts. Two performances had been slated: a free outdoor concert in Watertown on July 2 and a July 3 concert at the State University of New York/Potsdam.

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s (New York City) has announced the cancellation or postponement of concerts through June 30. These include performances at its home base, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, as well as at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, the Morgan Library, the Brooklyn Museum, and other NYC venues.

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (Minnesota) has cancelled all concerts through the end of its 2019-20 season on June 14, in accordance with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC. The orchestra has expanded its free digital offerings, including videos of new performances and chats by SPCO musicians at home, on-demand videos of previous concerts, and resources for families.