Cleveland Orchestra cancels Severance Hall concerts through June; Blossom Festival and “In Focus” filmed concerts will continue

Posted on: February 4, 2021

Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra perform in Severance Hall in fall 2020. Photo by Roger Mastroianni

“Hold onto that dream of returning to Severance Hall. You’re going to have to wait a little longer,” writes Zachary Lewis in Wednesday’s (2/3) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “On Wednesday the Cleve-land Orchestra made the not-unexpected announcement that the return of live audiences has been postponed and that its ‘In Focus’ series of filmed concerts will be its primary medium through June. The earliest patrons now can look to go back is this fall. Recent thoughts of welcoming pa-trons to Severance Hall in March had to be scrapped as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to rage, said orchestra president and chief executive André Gremillet. ‘With uncertainty around case numbers, the introduction of new virus variants, and extended vaccination schedules, we have con-cluded that we must make different plans for the months ahead,’ he said…. There was a silver lin-ing to the announcement, in the form of new ‘In Focus’ program details, as well as good news in the revelation that the orchestra plans to welcome live audiences to Blossom Music Center this summer…. The orchestra … is working toward a summer season of 10 concerts in July and Au-gust with limited, socially distant live audiences. Program and ticket details are forthcoming.”