Vaccination mandates and COVID testing policies at orchestras, including Pittsburgh Symphony

Posted on: October 26, 2021

“Some U.S. orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, have instituted a vaccine mandate for musicians and staff,” writes Jeremy Reynolds in Tuesday’s (10/26) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Others have stopped short of a full mandate. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra musicians have approved a policy that requires either proof of vaccination or rigorous testing every 48 hours. Most groups are working with medical professionals to craft policies, and exemptions are generally available for medical and religious reasons. In Pittsburgh, a vast majority of musicians have chosen to vaccinate, but there are holdouts. Some musicians have been placed on [paid] leave…. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra … negotiated a mandate with each of the unions that work in [Heinz Hall]…. In other words, the vaccine policy was agreed to by a majority of musicians over protests by a small minority…. The situation varies at orchestras all over the country. A survey by the service organization the League of American Orchestras found that 65% of just over 200 respondents had instituted a mandatory vaccination policy. Among the other 35%, some are still wrestling with the issue, and some have come to a middle ground. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has had 100% of its musicians choose to vaccinate.”