How Dallas Symphony’s Noltemy keeps the music coming during pandemic season of 2020-21

Posted on: January 4, 2021

“The Dallas Symphony Orchestra … found a way to keep a full, regular schedule of in-person concerts amid the pandemic, and it did so without spreading the disease in its halls,” reads a December 24 opinion piece by the editorial staff of the Dallas Morning News. “The person who insisted the show must go on, who would not rest until her organization had been rebuilt to serve its community during a pandemic, is DSO chief executive Kim Noltemy…. The concerts needed fundamental changes to accommodate rules of social distancing…. The DSO generally takes about nine months to plan a season; they had only a few weeks to scrap those plans and come up with something new. The DSO’s head of artistic operations, Peter Czornyj, and Music Director Fabio Luisi had to retool each concert for a smaller orchestra…. Noltemy worked with UT Southwestern Medical Center to conduct daily rapid testing of musicians and staff. She worked with donors to install technology to live-streamed concerts and created a digital strategy that will live on past COVID…. Of Luisi’s debut concert [as music director], she said: ‘Even though it wasn’t what we … planned for it to be … it was still a huge victory.’ ”