We’ve cancelled the rest of the year

We’ve cancelled the rest of the year


norman lebrecht

July 16, 2020

On Slipped Disc we have given up publishing each inevitable change of plan that arises from the Covid-19 pandemic.

It has been appearent for several weeks that most orchestras will keep the shutters down for the rest of 2020, and these announcements follow one another with grim and depressing predictability.

In London, both major arts centres will stay shut, keeping the orchestras idle.

In the US, one city after the next has bowed to the inevitable. Today, Chicago wrote off the rest of the year.

Because of the COVID-19 public health crisis, it has become apparent that we will not be able to present fall 2020 programs as originally planned. Our highest priority is the health and safety of our audiences, musicians, visiting artists and staff. After careful deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to not resume our traditional concert programming before January of 2021 in accordance with the State of Illinois and City of Chicago recovery plans and in response to the current safety guidelines from public health officials. We are hopeful that we will be able to proceed as originally planned with programs at that time.

And a few hours later: Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel and David C. Bohnett Chair Chief Executive Officer Chad Smith today (announced a far-reaching set of media partnerships and digital initiatives designed to bring the music and programming of the LA Phil to the broadest possible audience. Wide-ranging programs on multiple platforms will make the LA Phil’s work accessible while Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford are dark due to COVID-19. That period has been extended, as the LA Phil has) canceled its fall 2020 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall through December 31, 2020 in response to the guidance of public health officials.


  • Classique says:

    Yikes, they had a good first half of season lined up too….hope they reschedule them all.

  • Andy says:

    The reality is that they’re not going to return in the middle of winter, either I suspect…….

  • hh says:

    Don’t you mean the rest of 2020?

  • Simon says:

    I think you mean to the end of 2020, don’t you?

  • Hugh Kerr says:

    We have tickets for the opera in Vienna in September with Domingo singing in Boccanegro !

  • Bill says:

    Make up your mind: the rest of 2020, or the rest of 2021?

  • The View from America says:

    “It has been appearent [sic] for several weeks that most orchestras will keep the shutters down for the rest of 2021, and these announcements follow one another with grim and depressing predictability.”

    Do you mean cancelling for the rest of 2020, not 2021?

  • MG says:

    “…most orchestras will keep the shutters down for the rest of 2021”

    Should that read 2020, or have most placed really cancel through the end of next year?

  • Anon says:

    “…most orchestras will keep the shutters down for the rest of 2021…”


  • Glen Wilson says:

    For the rest of 2020, surely? Not 2021?

  • Geoff says:

    Nobody knows, not the scientists nor the politicians nor the conductors, when it will be safe for up to 2,000 people to sit inside a concert hall to hear an orchestra play. We wait with bated breath for any news on the resumption anyconcerts.

    • Terence says:

      Are the people who gave this a thumbs down unhappy about Geoff’s statement of fact?

      Or do they have some secret knowledge which places them outside the “nobody knows” group?

      Come on: share the crystal ball reading with us.

  • Poacher says:

    And yet l’Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec is up and running! Livestream tomorrow night:


  • Buddy Guy says:

    Omg that suckz bro

  • Steve says:

    If we are fortunate, one or several of the ongoing vaccine trials will be successful. We will have a good idea of this by end of September to October. Assuming that there is success, it will likely take at least four to six months to mass produce the vaccine, ensure its safety in production (test for endotoxin and potency), transport and distribute it, and implement mass vaccination programs…..assuming only one dose is needed and not two separated in time (by let’s say a month). In the best case scenarios, this could be accomplished by March or April. It is hard to see how any large audience events of any sort will take place before summer of 2021

  • M2N2K says:

    Of course NL meant to say until the end of THIS year, not the next. By the way, LA Phil made a similar announcement today as well.

  • fflambeau says:

    I’ve noticed that websites owned by people in the same line as your do not approve of postponements, probably because it calls into question your own financial success. You are putting your own finances above the health of the community and the artistic world.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    I think you made a wise decision, Norman.
    Too much bad news is just bad news!

  • Antony Walker says:

    I think Norman means that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has cancelled performances until the end of December. The Lyric Opera of Chicago cancelled in a similar vein a couple of weeks ago.

  • NYMike says:

    Absent an EFFECTIVE vaccine, I firmly believe the ’20-’21 concert season will not take place. If we’re lucky, ’21-’22 season starting Fall ’21 may happen.

  • Edgar Self says:

    I’m home from three weeks in hospital nursing multiple fractires of a femur with much help,– a Ligurian lemur’s femur before I disartciulated it. Some know I’m now legally bind, and illegally several other things, from glaucoma and can confirm H. G. Wells’s suspicion that the one-eyed man is nlot king in the land of the blind. I’m also older than dirt. This is a bore and nuisance but may explain some of the poor marksmanship in posting here, where I have no business to be, except that I like to read and write about ,music. This forum is even more of a godsend.

    In hospital I learnt to look with fresh eyes ontpod-cast recitals, one by viola and bassoon from Lyric Opera orchestra who played their arrangements of two works by Francois Couperin le Grand; Encore: Dvorak’s “Humoresque” and talk of his viola playing in “Terzetto”,. She knew Beethoven’s “Eyeglass Duo for Viola adn Cello. When I mentioned my father was a minstrel show bassso who played fiddle and mandolin, the violist whipped off a cracking country fiddle-faddle caler led “Demon’s Dance” with panache. AFTER QWWJA UB HIAOURkm rhua nyaux hS GREAT UNOACTL U WAS VERY GRATEFUL FOR IT.

    The other performer was a medical student and violinist. who played unannounced Fritz Kreisler’s “Liebesleid” and “Opera Ball”, which I named, having heard Kreisler play them on rwcords and AM radio on Bell Telephone Hour.