San Francisco Symphony has canceled all live concerts in its 2020-21 season, including performances slated through June 30, 2021.
In an announcement on Monday, San Francisco Symphony CEO Mark C. Hanson said the orchestra is “deeply” disappointed to cancel, but that ongoing impacts of COVID-19 make it clear that discontinuing is the best course of action.
But Hanson added that the move allows musicians and administrators to turn their “full attention to investing in the creation of compelling and timely digital content and experiences that both fit within required safety guidelines and take advantage of them as a catalyst for innovation.”
New virtual programming for January–June 2021 will be announced later.
A press release also stated that if concerts in Davies Symphony Hall do become possible, the symphony will announce new performances “accordingly.”
Upcoming online events include “Throughline: San Francisco Symphony-From Hall to Home,” at 7 p.m. Nov. 14, featuring music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s commissioned piece “Throughline” and music by Ellen Reid, John Adams, Kev Choice and Ludwig van Beethoven. The event streams at sfsymphony.org and is being broadcast on KQED-TV.
For the holidays, a virtual Deck the Hall event with conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser is slated for 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5, featuring seasonal music, audience sing-alongs, organist Jonathan Dimmock, members of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the San Francisco Boys Chorus.
Video episodes of Currents, a series hosted by conductor Michael Morgan and members of the San Francisco Symphony, continue. The shows, which explore the intersection of classical music with other cultures, include Bay Area Blue Notes, about jazz, on Nov. 28 on “NBC Bay Area,” and “Enter the Pipa,” about sounds and traditions of San Francisco’s Chinese community on Dec. 19 also on “NBC Bay Area.” Meanwhile, “Viva México!,” exploring Mexico’s multi-generational musical culture, and “From Scratch,” about art and activism in Oakland’s hip hop culture, stream at sfsymphony.org/currents.
Meanwhile, the 1:1 Concert series, featuring one musician from the orchestra and one audience member coming together in 20–30 minute performances on outdoor terraces and in the lobby of Davies Hall, also continue. To sign up, visit sfsymphony.org/OnetoOne.
Symphony administrators encourage ticketholders to consider donating the cost of their tickets to symphony, or to request gift certificates for future performances; and, if possible, to consider making an additional gift.
For information, visit sfsymphony.org/give, call (415) 864-6000 during business hours or email email@example.com.