Concerts Canceled Through May 31 to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

Seattle Symphony to Continue Free Rebroadcasts and Livestreams Throughout Closure

As the world is learning more about the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are still closely monitoring the developments from King County, the Centers for Disease Control and the City of Seattle. Our priority is the health of our Seattle Symphony family, and we believe we have a social responsibility to make decisions that ensure the public’s health. 

While health officials manage the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, the Seattle Symphony has canceled or postponed performances through May 31, 2020

As our community confronts a current global health crisis, the Seattle Symphony will continue to share free performances that provide strength, comfort and joy through free rebroadcasts, solo performances and livestreams until the orchestra can return to the Benaroya Hall stage.

“It was an immensely difficult decision to cancel the orchestra’s performances through May, but our priority is ensuring the health of our Seattle Symphony family and community,” says Krishna Thiagarajan, President and CEO of the Seattle Symphony. 

“Music is transformative and withstands the tests of tragedy and time. We’ve been Seattle’s soundtrack since 1903 and are collectively making sacrifices so this orchestra can continue being Seattle’s soundtrack for the next 100 years and beyond. The encouragement received thus far has been overwhelming, and we are inspired by the world’s response to music during these uncertain times.”

The Seattle Symphony is organizing additional free rebroadcasts, solo performances and livestreams until the orchestra can return to the Benaroya Hall stage. In addition to rebroadcasting past performances, the musicians of the Seattle Symphony are sharing “Morning Notes,” short daily video clips of solo musicians performing, on the Seattle Symphony’s social media accounts. 

The first rebroadcasts of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 on March 12 and 14 reached over 130,000 people around the world. Of these streamed concerts, The New York Times Magazine stated, “The performance felt symbolic: a declaration that connection and solidarity and collective beauty would continue, that we could still gather together even as we stayed apart.” 

In response to requests from families and retirement communities, the Seattle Symphony expanded its online broadcast offerings to include a new “Meet the Instruments” program for children, which premiered today with Principal Tuba John DiCesare, and a new Sunday matinee concert rebroadcast starting this Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 2pm PDT on YouTube and Facebook.

“My hope is that the music we share is a balm in these troubling times,” shares Music Director Thomas Dausgaard. “It’s been so touching to see hundreds of thousands of people around the world tune in for our broadcasts each week. Sharing music together has helped me feel connected in a time of isolation, and I cannot wait to be reunited soon at Benaroya Hall.”

"Finding new ways to connect with audiences has always been part of the DNA of the Seattle Symphony and its musicians,” says Seattle Symphony clarinetist Eric Jacobs. “Although the developing story of COVID-19 has been heartbreaking, I am continually inspired by the creative ways we have found to share stories through music. I hope they can offer the comfort, strength, joy, or distraction you need while we're not at Benaroya Hall."

Inspired by the orchestra’s promise to continue sharing music with the community, Seattle Symphony Board member Stephen Whyte has generously pledged to match gifts, dollar-for-dollar throughout the orchestra’s closure. These funds launch the Seattle Symphony Future Fund, providing critical resources to ensure a bright future for symphonic music in our community.

“Sharing the joy of music is more important now than ever,” states Seattle Symphony Board Chair René Ancinas. “The Seattle Symphony is not immune to the financial repercussions rippling throughout our country and the world. 

“As a nonprofit arts organization, we rely on our community for support, especially in uncertain times like these. We’re asking all our friends near and far to consider the role music plays in their lives and, if they’re able, give a gift to ensure this orchestra will be here for decades to come.”

Seattle Symphony Future Fund

Help keep the music playing.

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has serious ramifications for the future of symphonic music in Seattle. You can keep the music playing by giving now to the Seattle Symphony Future Fund. We always rely on your generosity to lift the human spirit through the power of music. Your support — now more than ever — is critical for the musicians who create these treasured moments.

Symphony Board member Stephen Whyte is matching all donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million. Please consider the role music plays in your life and make your gift today.

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Posted on March 27, 2020

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