The New York Philharmonic has cancelled all previously scheduled concerts from January 6, 2021, through June 13, 2021, due to COVID-19. In compliance with New York State health regulations and on the advice of health officials, the Orchestra regrets being unable to resume concerts during the 2020–21 season. The Philharmonic had previously announced that concerts through January 5, 2021, would not take place. This marks the first time in its 178-year history that the New York Philharmonic has been forced to cancel an entire concert season.
Determined to continue providing music to its communities in New York and around the world, the Philharmonic continues its slate of digital programming, building on the launch of the NY Phil Plays On portal of free digital content. Activities include pre-recorded performances by small, socially distanced ensembles of Philharmonic musicians in partner venues such as Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center and Manhattan School of Music. This expanded orchestra streaming series, to take place during the winter and spring of 2021, will be announced at a later date, as will an update to the previously announced plan for the renovation of David Geffen Hall. The New York Philharmonic 2021–22 season will be announced in the spring of 2021.
NY Phil Bandwagon returns in spring 2021. Launched in the fall of 2020, this new initiative, bringing outdoor live “pull-up” concerts to all five boroughs of New York City, has already successfully and safely been presented more than 80 times city-wide.
President and CEO Deborah Borda said: “The cancellation of an entire New York Philharmonic season is not only unprecedented — it is devastating, both in its impact on the morale of musicians and audiences, and in its profound economic consequences. We know there was no other choice, but we also know that music is most meaningful when shared with listeners in a common space. We are bolstered by the enthusiastic reaction from New Yorkers to our recent NY Phil Bandwagon concerts and are gratified by private financial support that continues to come in. Most importantly, the Philharmonic is resolved to continue to connect and perform during this time, and beyond. This will not be a silent season, and we eagerly anticipate September 2021, when the entire Orchestra can reunite with our audience. We cannot wait for that first downbeat!”
Music Director Jaap van Zweden said: “While it’s safety first, I continue to be hopeful that we will all be reunited by live performances in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, my family and I in Amsterdam continue to miss our New York Philharmonic family.”
The health and safety of musicians, staff, and audience members remains the Philharmonic’s primary concern. The revised plans for winter and spring 2021 are made in compliance with New York State Limited Phase 4 Reopening guidelines that have identified live, indoor presentations of the performing arts as “high risk arts and entertainment activities,” which are therefore not allowed to resume.
The value of tickets to concerts through June 13, 2021 will automatically become a credit for the 2021–22 season. For information about donating the value of unused tickets or obtaining refunds for the cancelled concerts, ticketholders may visit nyphil.org/health or contact New York Philharmonic Customer Relations at (212) 875-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.