No music in Philadelphia before March 2021

No music in Philadelphia before March 2021


norman lebrecht

July 15, 2020

The state of Pennsylvania has recorded 101,000 cases of COVID-19, with almost 7,000 dead.

(Reuters) – Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Tuesday announced a moratorium on most large public events in the city through Feb. 28, 2021, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I know this news will be disappointing for many Philadelphians, it was not an easy decision to make,” Kenney told a news conference. “But as we continue to battle COVID-19 and try to restore some sense of normalcy in our city, we know there will be many difficult decisions to come.”

The mayor said the moratorium will apply to events of 50 people or more on public property, including but not limited to festivals, parades, concerts, carnivals, fairs and flea markets.

UPDATE from the Philadelphia Orchestra: I wanted to clarify that this does not affect the activities of The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts or at other privately-operated venues in which the Orchestra regularly performs. We will be announcing the Orchestra’s plans for the fall on August 17, 2020.


  • kurt says:

    and i seriously doubt that the met in nearby nyc can reopen on new year’s eve. but, who knows? buona fortuna, one and all

  • CA says:

    It just keeps getting bleaker and bleaker….like there’s really no hope anymore for the performing arts in the USA. With unemployment extended benefits likely to wind down soon and regular unemployment benefits not lasting indefinitely (some states are only 12 weeks) and possible evictions coming when moratoriums life, I’d like to know what our thousands of artists are going to do to earn a “living”–which now means just food and shelter. We are living a hell on earth due to this horrible disease. I believe many would rather not live.

    • violafan says:

      and yet there are still musicians that will support a certain top office politician that didn’t take this pandemic seriously and thought it would disappear by summer…

    • Hmus says:

      A lot depends on what you folks do in Oxford at the moment, doesn’t it! You can be sure that with the churlish and vindictive administration in control here, even if a vaccine is developed, it will never be released until it is “monetized.”

  • PHF says:

    Orchestra employees earning a seven-figure salary are not worried, if you know what a mean…

    • CA says:

      I’m sorry but you have no idea that many who earn that ARE worried. These orchestras are located in cities where the cost of living is high. Many musicians are in debt fir their lifetimes to pay for the highest quality instruments required for jobs at this extremely high level. That can be into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a top of the line stringed instrument, for example. Most rank and file musicians do not earn even $200K base salary at the richest/biggest orchestras. Regardless of salary, it’s highly likely that orchestral musicians from all sizes of orchestras in this nation are indeed worried-and rightly so. (My opinion only.)

    • NYMike says:

      “Orchestra employees earning a seven-figure salary are not worried”….In what alternate universe do you reside??”

    • professional orch musician says:

      The VAST majority of orchestral musicians in the US make far, far less than a “seven-figure salary”.

      Believe CA whose post accurately captures the
      real desperation of professionals in the orchestral field.

      If by “orchestra employees” you are referring to
      orchestral executive directors, etc., realize that if there are no audiences and no performances, these “employees” will soon be out of a job as well.

      You sound ignorant or crazy. Or both. And smug.

      Plus proofreading isn’t your forte, it seems
      “… if you know what A mean”.

    • Overpaid says:

      Impressive! You managed to annoy 22 conductors at once! (At time of writing)

    • Hypocrite says:

      Orchestra players do not earn seven figures, but they do earn enough in major orchestras, that if they are worried, then they were irresponsible and lived beyond their means.

    • Vaquero357 says:

      There are NO orchestra employees who earn a seven-figure salary.

  • Anon says:

    Will mass protests be allowed?

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    Is the Kimmel Center on public property?

  • philly phacts says:

    It clearly says that the restrictions do no apply to private venues, such as the independently-operated performance halls where the majority of the performing arts in Philadelphia are presented. Please read and report accurately. This applies to large public gatherings (parades, charity runs, etc.) on City grounds.

  • frank says:

    The headline is inaccurate. The City’s ban applies to parades, foot races, and block parties on public streets. It does not apply to gatherings on private property such as churches , sports stadiums, or concert halls. The Kimmel Center is a private, not-for -profit corporation. It has previously announced its closing only through December 31, 2020.

  • Skippy says:

    Maybe the fall of 2021…maybe.

  • Barry says:

    I have expected to miss most of the concerts I put on my choose-your-own-series subscription. I’m holding out just the slimmest of hopes that I may get to see Yannick conduct Shostakovich’s 8th and Tchaikovsky’s 6th in May. I have wanted to see the Orchestra perform the latter for many years. It’s finally on the schedule and ….

  • Barry says:

    I meant to say “the former” in that last post. It’s Shostakovich’s 8th I’ve wanted to see on the schedule for many years (They obviously never make us wait that long to hear Tchaikovsky’s 6th). If they can’t play it, hopefully they’ll reschedule in a season or two.

  • Dennis says:

    Absurd. Long past time to get back to normal, people just keep doubling-down on madness and insanity.

    Part of the problem is the number inflation concomitant to the media and medical establishment’s re-definition of a “case.” General normative practice for every disease and virus until this one has been not to call asymptomatic positives a “case,” yet despite over 80% of people being asymptomatic, they are calling every positive test (sometimes duplicates not new individuals, also a high number of false positives), a “case,” purposefully to exacerbate the fear and paranoia and to justify tyrannical public policies.

    Plus exaggerated testing of large numbers of asymptomatic people is itself exacerbating the problem. If we tested as much for ordinary flu we’d uncover millions of additional “cases” each year as well. Madness. Utter madness. And PA health policy is run by a guy who should be in a mental ward.

  • Celia Jelley says:

    Well, it’s somewhat good news that this doesn’t affect the Philadelphia Orchestra’s activities at Kimmel Center–however, if there’s still a lot of public fear about gathering in close quarters for events like this, then that will undoubtedly have a bearing on how things go, both in terms of the audience turnout and earned revenues. And everything that depends on that. At best, it is a glimmer of hope. Let’s hope things start to shine brighter, for all of us. We must all do everything we can to stay safe and try not to spread this horrible disease around any more than it’s already taking off. My heart goes out to my orchestral colleagues around the country, both musicians and staff/managers.

  • Michael B. says:

    I would not be at all surprised if these closures are reversed once one or more vaccines are available and are widely distributed. So far, the scientific results look extremely promising, and it is hardly far-fetched that these vaccines will be available by the end of the year. They are really pushing to get these ready.

  • Vaquero357 says:

    The closure doesn’t affect private venues like the Kimmel Center/Verizon Hall, but…. that doesn’t mean that an uncontrolled or barely controlled COVID-19 won’t keep large numbers of audience members away even if the venue is open.

  • fflambeau says:

    The headline is in conflict (serious) with the note. I suggest a rewrite.

  • Sol Siegel says:

    The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, which has been barred from use of the Kimmel Center at least through the end of this year, has announced a much-modified version of its coming season, including cancellations, postponements and changes of venues. Even these are subject to change – or cancellation.

  • Who really cares? says:

    Classical music is un-American anyway