Toronto Symphony musicians keep busy during COVID-19 concert ban, with salaries continued through June

Posted on: April 29, 2020

“Thanks to COVID-19, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has fallen silent,” writes William Littler in Saturday’s (4/25) Toronto Star (Canada). “Where are the players? At home like the rest of us, says a chuckling concertmaster Jonathan Crow, ‘gardening, baking and practicing.’… The players have begun organizing phone concerts, online streaming and other projects that keep them connected … with their art and their public.… TSO performers have, thanks to a decision by the board of directors, salaries coming in until … the end of June. What happens then is a subject for speculation.… [CEO Matthew] Loden estimates that with the disappearance of several weeks of revenue [the orchestra] faces the prospect of a $5-million loss…. No one can yet predict when concert activity will resume…. Subscriptions for the coming season, [Loden] points out, are 23 per cent ahead of the same point last year. Fundraising is also up…. ‘There is no way to predict the box office when this is over,’ Loden says. ‘We have been expecting 2,500 people every night. Will we have to play smaller concerts for different audiences? We are learning how to be flexible.… We’ll come back different and hopefully better.’”