Coronavirus: San Francisco shuts down its concert hall

Coronavirus: San Francisco shuts down its concert hall


norman lebrecht

March 07, 2020

San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed today announced that War Memorial Performing Arts Center venues, including Davies Symphony Hall, will be closed for all public events for the next two weeks in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. After tonight, all San Francisco Symphony concerts scheduled at Davies Symphony Hall through March 20 are canceled.

The following concerts have been canceled:

March 8: Michael Barenboim & the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble
March 12–14: MTT & Gautier Capuçon
March 15: Youth Orchestra Plays Britten
March 17: Flute Recital with Sir James Galway



  • San Fran Shithole says:

    Maybe if Nancy Pelosi gave a shit (pun very intended) about her district, and the city wasn’t rife with mindless liberal policies, it’s leaders more focused on impeachment than cleaning up the city, On releasing criminals without penalty (see new DA), SF might have had a chance at controlling what will be a total emergency outbreak in the days to come.

    The dirtiest city in America will reap what it has sowed.

    • Jules says:

      That’s right–it’s the Democratic Party’s fault. Of course, Vatican City just had its first case, so I guess that’s Pelosi’s fault, too.

    • Patrick says:

      Hey, San Fran Shit Head….

      Get lost. Find another site to troll. You are way off-topic.

    • Nelson says:

      At least you’re not in control of it, since you think some group of people deserve punishment because they don’t think like you. Hate to think what you wish on those “shithole” countries your leader talks about…..

    • MacroV says:

      Pelosi doesn’t govern San Francisco. And COVID-19 is a worldwide phenomenon.

      Seriously, Norman, don’t you moderate garbage like this?

      • Josh Williams says:

        Well said. Why DOESN’T Norman do something about comments like these? It shouldn’t matter if one is conservative or liberal, these kind of comments are offensive, especially in a time of global crises.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      Hey, ya know, speaking as a San Francisco native, why don’t YOU crawl back into whatever hole YOU crawled out of and keep your piehole shut.

      • Pro-California says:


        As a native, name some of the POSITIVE elements your city offers like:

        Plenty of GOOD paying jobs,
        Ample employment opportunities,
        How business-friendly it is,
        Low cost of living,
        Low taxes,
        Low municipal fees,
        Low utility bills,
        Low crime,
        Low homeless population,
        Clean air,
        Clean water,
        Clean streets,
        Ample housing,
        Affordable housing on a sole income of say $40K annually,
        How many LEGAL immigrants celebrate their citizenship as they are sworn in every year,
        How many US citizens are MOVING IN since it’s so great over the past decade…

        Come on baby!
        Lay out those FACTS!!!

        • Greg Bottini says:

          I was born in SF. It’s my home town. I love living here, despite the many issues you mention, which are common to almost all big cities in the US.
          What’s YOUR home town, Pro-California? What’s your opinion of it? Do you love where you’re living now? If you do, good for you. If you don’t, I pity you.

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      By “dirtiest city” do you mean “largest percentage of homosexuals”? From your tone, I suspect so and that “reap what it has sowed” refers to some sort fire-and-brimstone apocalypse. You live in a world of anger, my friend.

  • Rabbit says:

    As usual. Americans are like rabbits – so crazily afraid of everything and over-cautious!

    One of the rarest diseases of the country – and not even a dangerous one. Next: complete shut-down because of sneezing and the flue.

    • Tamino says:

      Indeed. 18.000 – eighteen thousand – people have died of regular flue in the US this season.
      17 – seventeen – so far from the Corona virus.
      Thats a ratio of roughly thousand to one. (probably more will die of Corona, but still)
      It’s a mass hysteria. Possibly social engineering. But probably just the momentum of social media out of control. The society is totally nuts. Reasonable voices are simply drowning in the shitstorm of ignorance, idiocy and stupid nonsense.

    • Peter says:

      There’s a difference between being rational and being in total denial of basic facts.

      First, all the signs are that COVID-19 has significantly higher mortality rates than the seasonal flu (or the common cold). You don’t wait until tens of thousands of people have died before springing into action.

      Second, unlike the seasonal flu, there’s no vaccine against COVID-19 and no prospect of one becoming available any time soon. Hence, non-pharmaceutical interventions (quarantining, isolation and shutdowns) are among the only effective strategies to contain the spread. That’s why we see widespread shutdowns in response to COVID-19, but not in response to the seasonal flu.

      • Tamino says:

        Not correct. Mortality rates are unknown at best, since nobody knowns the number of unreported cases of people having the virus but having only mild or no symptoms. Best case this is just another strain of flu. Worst case it is somewhat more deadly, but not by much, than the normal flu.
        Again, this flu season 18.000 people have been registered to have died of the NORMAL flu in the US alone. Let’s keep some last remainders of rational thought please in this stupidity pandemic worldwide, particularly in the US.

        • Peter says:

          Morbidity aside, the further critical distinction, as already stated, is that there is no effective pharmaceutical method of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

          No doubt, there is a degree of irrationality and disproportionality in the way that some have responded to COVID-19, such as people stocking up on canned food and toilet paper as though a nuclear winter were imminent.

          But, lest it be forgotten amid the flurry of off-topic comments, this post is about the cancellation of public events. That is an entirely rational response to COVID-19, the spread of which can only be addressed through non-pharmaceutical means. To dismiss such measures as mere “hysteria” or “stupidity” is just as irrational as brawling over toilet rolls in the supermarket.

        • David Bloch says:

          By all means bang on about media frenzy but you’re quite wrong, you know.
          According to CDC and WHO data, 18,000 Americans have died from 32 million cases of seasonal flu in 2019-20.
          That’s 0.56 deaths per thousand cases.
          Covid-19 kills 34 people per 1000 cases: that’s data, not supposition.
          If there were 32 million cases of Covid-19, it would kill over a million people.
          That’s what governments are trying to avoid: they’re buying time, literally, to develop a vaccine.

          • Tamino says:

            Not correct. Nobody knows the number of cases with infections with SARS-CoV-2. It’s too new to know these numbers.
            So nobody knows mortality rates either.
            To say that 34 out of 1000 die is careless at best or stupid at worst.
            Currently everyone is erring on the overly cautious side.
            Also your number of 32 million cases of flu is guess work as well. Nobody knows. Estimates range between 9-45 million cases. Adjust your mortality rates accordingly.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Covid-19 is influenza. It affects the elderly and people who are otherwise compromised with poor health, eg. asthma.

    Let there be no misunderstanding; forget about climate change because disease will always kill many more people every single time. Same for animals.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      “Covid-19 is influenza. It affects the elderly and people who are otherwise compromised with poor health, eg. asthma.”
      Right on, Sue!
      But way too much panic has been spread about this virus by the media, and it’s creating knee-jerk panic reactions.
      The “corona virus” should be treated like any flu outbreak; practice good hygiene (wash hands often, cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing) and good common sense (stay away from those you observe coughing or sneezing, stay away from work if feeling ill, older folks who feel sick seek medical assistance).
      This is written by a liberal proud to be living in my City, San Francisco.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Yes, it is flu. However it seems slightly more dangerous than regular flu (but still has a pretty low death rate).

      The regular flu kills nearly 100,000 people in the US each year (but this varies a lot from year-to-year). Covid-19 is something like 10 times as virulent, and could kill around 1 million.

  • Jeffrey Levenson says:

    Daniel Barenboim?

  • SF Homeless Virus says:

    Why don’t they declare a state of emergency and deal with the deteriorating city and it’s homelessness. Embarrassing government that politicizes a virus but won’t deal with the fact that major conventions are cancelled their because of homeless detritus.

    • Tamino says:

      Good (somewhat) socialist countries like the Scandinavian nations or Germany know how to deal with homelessness. The US is by definition not made for homeless people. Actually there are no homeless people in the US. Those very many people you see sleeping in the streets in the US are just temporarily inconvenienced millionaires! It’s the American Dream!

    • Patrick says:

      Take your Trump talk elsewhere.

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      It appears as though you’ve got two user names for one guy here, Norman. This is probably the first poster, based on the right-wing anger and misuse of “it’s.”

    • Lee Fort says:

      Exactly right. Cali Dems won’t lift a finger to address homeless addicts in all of their major cities. Now they pretend to care re public by cancelling cultural activities mainly to get some of the $8 billion in fed funds to make up for zero coming their way BC of lawless sanctuary state policies.

  • Larry D says:

    Well, if any good is coming out of this, it gives the usual right-wing suspects on this site a chance to further vomit their bile. Perhaps someday they will get it out of their systems and join the rest of humanity in trying to solve the problems that beset the globe.

  • Donald Hansen says:

    I thought this forum had a moderator, but from some of the anonymous comments above, complete with grammatical errors and non-musical statements, I guess not..

  • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

    ==Seriously, Norman, don’t you moderate garbage like this?

    It can sometimes take a day for your own comment to appear on SD after submission, so there’s clearly some sort of moderating going on. Yet a troll like the above is allowed to contribute and upset many, many others

  • RichinCA says:

    I can add that four performances by Philharmonia Baroque early music ensemble under Nicolas McGegan have been cancelled in San Francisco, Berkeley, and in Palo Alto by order of city and county officials. Our tickets were for performances at Stanford University, where restrictions have been placed on large gatherings, including some sports events.

  • Dick says:

    And the topic was the closure of the Symphony for safety’s sake….