The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the remainder of the 2019-2020 season for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and may also impact this summer’s Hollywood Bowl programming, the organization said Wednesday.
The LA Phil, as it’s commonly known, said it would end plans for the October through June series at the downtown Walt Disney Concert Hall. More than 200 musicians and staff were laid off, and executive pay cuts were also instituted. The classical music portion of the Hollywood Bowl season is managed by the LA Phil organization from July through September. Pop and rock promoters will still presumably fill in some dates at the venue, health conditions permitting. However, this is a busy season for Bowl ticket sales, which presumably will impact future plans in all genres.
The L.A. Phil’s music and artistic director, Gustavo Dudamel, will take no compensation during the cancellation period, the orchestra said. Dudamel reportedly makes several million dollars per year. The layoffs include 94 part-time employees. The 101 orchestra members will receive 65 percent of their weekly minimum scale starting April 20 and retain health benefits. The 174 full-time administrative staff will also keep their benefits. .
The LA Phil cancelled its concerts on March 12 through May 10. All staff and orchestra members had been fully paid since then. But with the future health outlook uncertain, the organization took steps to curtail the outward cash flow without revenue.
Disney Hall concerts now cancelled include Zack Winokur’s production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park With George, and the massive staging of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder.
The New York Philharmonic canceled the rest of its 2020 season last week.