In another historic COVID first, the New York Philharmonic said Tuesday it won’t be resuming live concerts in January as hoped but will return in June, skipping an entire season.
It’s a shock but not a surprise. The news follows the Metropolitan Opera last month canceling its entire season. It won’t open until next September.
Broadway will be dark until at least through May.
NY Phil CEO Deborah Borda said the shift was due to mandatory state and city government health regulations. “With deep regret, all previously scheduled concerts from January 6 to June 13, 2021, must now be cancelled,” she said, noting that shutting down an entire season is a first in the organization’s 178-year history.
“Please know how devastated we all are by this turn of events. The health and financial challenges, indeed the experiential challenges we all face, are profound,” she said. The lineup for the NY 2021–22 season will be announced in the spring.
The NY Phil is in the process of developing an expanded orchestral live streaming series to be launched in the winter if the authorities allow it. Details should be announced shortly, she said.
Live pop-up music performances called NY Phil Bandwagon will resume in the spring, The concerts — surprise appearances not announced in advance so that crowd sizes stay small — have been popular across NYC’s five boroughs.
“We cannot wait to be reunited with you, our audience, and we look forward to sharing that magical moment when you hear the very first downbeat of a New York Philharmonic concert. On behalf of our musicians and Jaap, here’s to you, to music, and to humanity!” Borda said, referring to music director Jaap van Zweden.