Just in: Chicago could resume in April 2021

Just in: Chicago could resume in April 2021


norman lebrecht

October 15, 2020

Unlike New York, where the Met, the Philharmonic, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall have no plan to reopen before next fall, the Chicago Symphony took a more prudent position today, cancelling all concerts, but only til the end of March 2021.

Press release:


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) announces that in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of audiences, artists and staff, all CSOA-presented 2020/21 season programs originally scheduled to take place from January 7 through March 30, 2021, have been canceled. Programs include Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Symphony Center Presents concerts, public concerts and events of the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO and previously announced domestic tour performances by the CSO in Florida and California.

The decision follows a review of current conditions and restrictions related to the pandemic and is in accordance with the State of Illinois and City of Chicago’s multi-phase recovery plans, as well current safety guidelines from public health officials. The CSOA continues to explore the possibility of rescheduling affected programs and is reviewing plans to present smaller-scale live performances with a reduced audience in the future…


  • NYMike says:

    Don’t count chickens before hatching. There’s still plenty of time and probability to cancel the rest of the season.

  • Anarhimik says:

    If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans

  • sam says:

    It’s pointless to make irrelevant comparions of orchestras. All businesses must follow local and state guidelines. Period.

    Of coure the NY Phil, the Met, and Carnegie Hall could reopen tomorrow morning … if they relocated to Vienna!

    • Tamino says:

      Can you show us the NY legislation that forces them to close down with guaranteed duration until next summer?

      • NYMike says:

        No. 202.60

        E X E C U T I V E O R D E R

        Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws

        Relating to the Disaster Emergency

        WHEREAS, on March 7, 2020, I issued Executive Order Number 202, declaring a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York;

        WHEREAS, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived in New York predominantly from Europe, with over 2.2 million travelers coming in between the end of January and March 16, 2020, when the federal government finally implemented a full European travel ban;

        WHEREAS, during that period of time, 2.2 million travelers landed in the New York City metropolitan area and entered New York’s communities, which, when combined with the density of our population, caused New York to have the highest infection rate of COVID-19 in the country;

        WHEREAS, both cases of travel-related and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been documented throughout New York State and, despite the persistent and diligent efforts of state and local governments to trace, test, and contain the virus, such transmission is expected to continue;

        WHEREAS, New York has undertaken a cautious, incremental and evidence-based approach to reopening the State of New York;

        WHEREAS, the dedication of New Yorkers to“flatten the curve“ has successfully slowed the transmission of COVID-19, and these vigilant efforts must continue to protect ourselves and our friends, family members, neighbors, and community members;

        WHEREAS, the State of New York had the highest infection rate, but has succeeded in reducing the rate to one of the lowest in the country, and New York is one of only a few states reported to be on track to contain COVID-19 transmission;

        WHEREAS, other states that may have taken a less cautious approach are experiencing an increased prevalence of COVID-19 cases, and the prevalence of cases in other states continues to present a significant risk to New York’s progress; and

        WHEREAS, the federal government has failed to sufficiently address the causes and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the nation by failing to, among other actions, establish a nation-wide testing strategy and impose a nation-wide face covering mandate;

        NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State of New York, do hereby find that a disaster continues to exist for which affected state agencies and local governments are unable to respond adequately. Therefore, pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Constitution of the State of New York and Section 28 of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, I hereby continue the declaration of the State Disaster Emergency effective March 7, 2020, as set forth in Executive Order 202. This Executive order shall remain in effect until October 4, 2020.

        IN ADDITION, I, Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to temporarily suspend or modify any statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or parts thereof, of any agency during a State disaster emergency, if compliance with such statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation would prevent, hinder, or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster emergency or if necessary to assist or aid in coping with such disaster, do hereby continue the suspensions, modifications, and directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Orders 202 up to and including 202.21, and 202.27, 202.28, 202.29, 202.30, 202.38, 202.39, 202.40, 202.48, 202.49, 202.50, as extended, and Executive Order 202.55 and 202.55.1 for another thirty days through October 4, 2020 and do hereby suspend or modify the following:

        Section 2804 of the Public Authorities Law, to the extent necessary to permit public authorities to receive comments concerning a proposed toll adjustment through public hearings held remotely, use of telephone conference, video conference, and/or other means of transmission, including acceptance of public comments electronically or by mail, and to permit all required documentation and records to be available in an electronic format on the internet and upon request;
        Subdivision 4 of section 1 of chapter 25 of the laws of 2020 is modified to the extent necessary to provide that in addition to any travel to a country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a level two or three travel health notice, an employee shall not be eligible for paid sick leave benefits or any other paid benefits pursuant to this chapter if such employee voluntarily travels to a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate, over a seven day rolling average, and which the commissioner of the department of health has designated as meeting these conditions as outlined in the advisory issued pursuant to Executive Order 205, and the employee did not begin travel to such state before the commissioner of the department of health designated such state, and the travel was not taken as part of the employee’s employment or at the direction of the employee’s employer;
        The suspension contained in Executive Order 202.8, as continued and modified most recently in Executive Order 202.48 and 202.55 and 202.55.1, is hereby amended to provide that the tolling of civil statutes of limitation shall be lifted as it relates to any action to challenge the approval by any municipal government or public authority of a construction project that includes either affordable housing or space for use by not-for-profit organizations. The suspension of Section 30.30 of the Criminal Procedure Law, is hereby modified to require that speedy trial time limitations remain suspended in a jurisdiction until such time as petit criminal juries are reconvened in that jurisdiction; Criminal Procedure Law 170.70 is no longer suspended, and for any appearance which has been required to be in-person may continue to be conducted virtually with the consent of the parties.
        Rural Electric Cooperatives Law Section 17(d) to the extent necessary to eliminate the minimum in-person quorum requirements;
        Title 5 of Article 11 of the Real Property Tax Law, is suspended with respect to the ability of a municipality to sell liens.
        IN ADDITION, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the

        Executive Law to issue any directive during a disaster emergency necessary to cope with the disaster, I do hereby issue the following directives through October 4, 2020:

        The directive contained in Executive Order 202.45, as extended, requiring closure of all schools statewide to in-person instruction, is hereby modified only insofar as to authorize schools statewide to be open for instruction, effective September 1, 2020, subject to adherence to Department of Health issued guidance and directives, and provided further that school districts must continue plans to ensure the availability of meals, and the availability of child care for health care and emergency response workers, for any school district that is conducting its operations remotely and provided further that for any district which closes to in-person instruction, a contingency plan to immediately provide such services must be maintained;
        Whenever a coroner or medical examiner has a reasonable suspicion that COVID-19 or influenza was a cause of death, but no such tests were performed within 14 days prior to death in a nursing home or hospital, or by the hospice agency, the coroner or medical examiner shall administer both a COVID-19 and influenza test within 48 hours after death, whenever the body is received within 48 hours after death, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Department of Health. The coroner or medical examiner shall report the death to the Department of Health immediately after and only upon receipt of both such test results through a means determined by the Department of Health. The State Department of Health shall provide assistance for any requesting coroner or medical examiner.
        Nassau County Administrative Code § 5-17.0(2) to the extent necessary to suspend the deadline to pay 2019-2020 second half general taxes appearing on the Nassau County tax roll without interest or penalties from August 10, 2020 to August 31, 2020 for residential property that was owned in whole or in part at the time of their death by healthcare workers and first responders in Nassau County who passed away after contracting the novel coronavirus and which is now owned by immediate family members or their estates.

        Nassau County Administrative Code § 5-16.0(b) to the extent necessary to provide a discount of one percent on payments of second half 2020-2021 school district taxes which are made on or before December 10, 2020.
        The directive contained in Executive Order 202.3, as extended, that required closure to the public of any facility authorized to conduct video lottery gaming or casino gaming, is hereby modified to allow such facilities to open beginning on or after September 9, 2020, subject to adherence to Department of Health guidance.
        The directive contained in Executive Order 202.50, as amended by Executive Order 202.53, that allowed indoor common portions of retail shopping malls to open in regions of the state that are in Phase Four of the state’s reopening, provided that such malls continue to be closed in the New York City region, is hereby amended to allow such malls to open in the New York City region, so long as such malls adhere to Department of Health issued guidance on and after September 9, 2020.
        G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this fourth day of September in the year two thousand twenty.


      • M2N2K says:

        Such legislation probably does not exist. However, there is such a thing as common sense that includes knowledge not only of current financial situations but also of attitudes toward health risks and against vaccinations by many performers and most of potential listeners. Unfortunately, there is no way that “normal” orchestral concert life in USA will be able to resume sooner than sometime next summer at best.

  • Hal Hobbs says:

    How many days until the press release comes out announcing until Fall 2021 or beyond?

  • Kyle A Wiedmeyer says:

    The Milwaukee Symphony, less than 100 miles to the north, chose not to cancel their season but rather “reimagine it.” They delayed the start of the season until January and will focus mostly on small ensemble works (chamber, Baroque/Classical era), which will be made accessible online to paying customers and subscribers. There will also, eventually (if not from the beginning), be a limited amount of in-person concertgoers; they have a fancy-schmancy new concert hall to show off so I assume that’s one reason why they’re doing so.

    • fflambeau says:

      The “new concert hall” is actually a completely refurbished and remodelled (at a cost close to $100 million) cinema from the 1920’s (in lovely Art Deco style). Otherwise, I think your post is spot-on. They have a young, new leader, Ken-David Masur who I expect will be wonderful. He’s shown lots of imagination already. They also have a strong financial base.

    • Sashimi says:

      Hate to break it to you but you might wanna check out the cso tv website. The CSO musicians are working, albeit without audience, and have already put out 3 virtual, and rather charming I have to say, chamber concerts. There is a new one coming out every Thursday, available to subscribers etc just like in Milwaukee. Whether people are allowed in the hall is up to the state government so even if they were 5 and not 100 miles apart but across the border, they would still need to follow their respective policies.

  • michael says:

    i will gladly take bets that it won’t reopen in march 2021.

  • Una says:

    Wishful thinking!

  • Confused says:

    How is it “more prudent” to do concerts sooner?

  • Skippy says:

    I won’t be entering a concert hall until 2023, at the earliest. Am I the only one who feels this way?

  • Harriet Craig says:

    What’s your source for the statement that “Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall have no plan to reopen before next fall”? I know that’s true of the Met and the New York Philharmonic, and I would be surprised if Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series don’t follow suit very soon, but the only official announcements I have seen so far are that Carnegie Hall has cancelled performances through January 6, and Great Performers has cancelled through the end of January.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Interesting how this will all play out.

    Concertgoers want to hear the whole CSO and not just parts of it. The brand of the CSO is the entire orchestra together.

    My guess is that there will be little interest in their audience attending online chamber music concerts or small chamber orchestra concerts (without the mighty CSO brass)

    In the end, there are too many full time string quartets that can do that literature better and chamber orchestras like Orpheus and St Martins have that repertoire covered and own the space.

    The only saving grace is that both the CSO and the NYPO have endowments that will allow them to weather the storm while continuing to pay their musicians a partial rate of their contract.

  • Aurelia says:

    I wonder if Muti will ever return to Chicago. I think his tenure as Music Director ends next year.