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Boston Symphony Orchestra cancels Holiday Pops series due to coronavirus

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The coronavirus pandemic has dealt another blow to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its fans.

The BSO announced on Friday that it was canceling all live performances until next spring, including its traditional Holiday Pops series, due to the risk of contagious and potentially fatal viruses.

In a joint statement, BSO executives said they deeply regret the decision, although this is not necessarily surprising as COVID-19 has put virtually all concerts and other large group gatherings on hiatus in the United States. . Massachusetts has effectively banned all major in-person shows and sporting events until there is an effective treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.

While this news probably comes as no surprise as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all of our personal and professional lives, it remains a major loss for the organization and all who appreciate and cherish the BSO and Boston Pops, BSO President and CEO Mark Volpe, Music Director Andris Nelsons and Conductor Keith Lockhart said.

Instead of the popular live-action Holiday Pops series and the rest of the canceled 2021 season, the BSO plans to release content online on a quasi-weekly basis from November 19 at least next April. Orchestra officials say a smaller ensemble of BSO musicians will perform together, following precautionary measures, for the first time since the pandemic began at Symphony Hall on October 28.

BSO executives said the continued creation of a new library of audio and video material was one of the silver liners that came out of this difficult time. Virtual performances this fall will include appearances by Lockhart and Nelsons.

With millions of people in Boston and around the world interacting with this special online content, we feel great inspiration to continue creating new virtual offerings, said Volpe, Nelsons and Lockhart.

BSO subscribers who have already purchased tickets for the 2020-21 season can email the orchestra at [email protected] or call 888-266-1200 to request a refund, receive credit for future tickets or donate their membership in support of the group, which has seen virtually its entire 2020 live season canceled due to the pandemic.

The announcement comes Friday after COVID-10 forced the BSO to cancel its tour of Asia last winter and the remainder of the 2020 season, including the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. According to the BSO, it was the first time in 139 years of history that he had to suspend his entire season. In April, the orchestra announced sweeping holidays and pay cuts that it said would solve only a fraction of the millions of dollars in lost revenue. They then dismissed 50 administrative employees in August.

Yet on Friday, leaders attempted to put a positive spin on the breaking news, thanking community members for their continued support.

A second positive aspect of this period has been the tremendous support we have received from dedicated BSO subscribers, donors and sponsors, as well as the leadership of the BSO Board of Directors, whose generosity has helped us continue. our compelling online content and to keep staff and musicians active during these unprecedented times, said Volpe, Nelsons and Lockhart. All of us at BSO and Boston Pops will continue to persevere and look forward to the time when we can welcome our beloved music community, as well as newcomers, back to the hall to revel in the live concert experience like never before. before.


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