Knoxville Symphony cancels concerts through Jan. 2021; musicians and staff furloughed

Posted on: August 26, 2020

“The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra announced that the 2020-21 season start will be postponed until 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” reads an unsigned report on Monday (8/24) at WBIR-TV (Knoxville, TN). “Concerts previously scheduled for the remainder of 2020 have been canceled out of concern for the health and safety of patrons, musicians and staff, according to a release from KSO. All Knoxville Symphony Orchestra musicians will be furloughed beginning Aug. 31 and will remain so through Jan. 31, 2021…. The orchestra also will furlough most of its administrative staff starting Sept. 14. The Symphony’s management team and board of directors said they made the decision after weeks of review…. ‘This was a heart-wrenching decision,’ KSO Executive Director Rachel Ford said…. ‘Continuing forward with our current costs and substantially reduced revenues is not financially feasible. This decision will allow us to sustain the KSO over the long term and not allow a pandemic to bring an end to our region’s longest continuously performing orchestra.’ The cancellations cover 24 performances of the KSO’s multiple concert series as well as educational and community outreach programs. Some educational concerts will be postponed to 2021. As late as last week, many musicians were expecting a regular season start and have expressed shock, anger, and dismay at what is, admittedly, a decision that was late arriving.”