Boston fall’s off

Boston fall’s off


norman lebrecht

July 30, 2020

Statement by the BSO:

For the first time in its 139-year history, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will suspend its fall season of performances at Symphony Hall….

By the end of the 2020 calendar year, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will announce whether it is able to go forward with any live performances with audience in the winter and spring months of its 2020-21 Symphony Hall season, January 7-May 1.

Given the cancellation of in-person Boston Symphony Orchestra live performances with audiences, September 16-November 28, and the continuing uncertainty around the resumption of in-person performances in the winter and spring, the BSO will be suspending all patron subscriptions for the 2020-21 season.


In other Boston news, the closure of Symphony Hall has meant the Handel and Haydn Society cancelling its conceerts. It has, however, renewed Harry Christophers for an extra season as music director.

“The decision to close Symphony Hall, while disappointing to all of us, is understandable. We in New England have seen over the past several months that, working together, we can reduce the spread of this dangerous disease,” said David Snead, President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “We are actively seeking new ways to bring performances of the utmost caliber to our audience in a safe setting. Whether that is online, or at a later date, we are committed to bring live music back to Boston.”


  • Cubs Fan says:

    Very sad to hear. And also Tucson has delayed the entire 20/21 season to 21/22. Won’t be the last.

  • fflambeau says:

    Very understandable and wise.

  • Concertgoer says:

    Some good journalist should get on the phone and talk to members of the executive committee of the board of one of these organizations — the BSO would be an ideal choice — and learn exactly what factors are weighing into these cancellation decisions. It’s not enough to say, “we’re cancelling and the reason is obvious.”

    An executive committee like the BSO’s will have perhaps a dozen members, each of whom could share the meat of the matter, no doubt including liability fears, for which there is at present no U.S. roadmap. The public can’t help if the public isn’t told. And without help, before long, we are going to see organizations and vital subscriber bases vanishing forever.

  • Karl says:

    It will be a miracle if any orchestra has a live concert in 2020.

    • Larry L. Lash/ Wien says:

      But Karl: In June I attended two concerts by the Wiener Symphoniker at Musikverein. These were not chamber music programmes or recitals, but full symphonic concerts including works such as the “Sinfonia eroica” and the overture to “La forza del destino.” I have a ticket for the original five-act French edition of “Don Carlos” at Wiener Staatsoper at the end of September in which I will be seated on one of two chairs in a Loge which normally holds six people.

      And a bit to the west, right now there are lots of symphonic concerts scheduled for the Salzburger Festspiele, especially since there are only two operas on the programme.