All the major classical music venues, events and concerts closed and cancelled due to coronavirus

1 April 2020, 12:32 | Updated: 3 April 2020, 09:00

All the major classical music events cancelled due to coronavirus so far updating list
All the major classical music events cancelled due to coronavirus so far. Picture: Getty

By Rosie Pentreath

An ongoing list of major classical concerts, operas and other music events that have been cancelled around the world due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

The spread of the new coronavirus, or COVID19 – discovered in Wuhan in China at the end of 2019 – is having a significant impact large events, businesses and economies in several countries. And that now includes numerous cultural and classical music events.

By 16 March both the Wigmore Hall and Royal Opera House in London closed their doors following the government’s advice to the public not to go out unless necessary for food or to seek medical advice, and not to go to pubs, restaurants or theatres. The next day, Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall followed suit, and concert halls and other venues have started closing all over the country.

On 12 March, the London Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled its tour to Luxembourg, Germany and Austria due to take place later in the month, because of measures being taken in those cities to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Click here for the latest coronavirus advice from the NHS >

The orchestra expressed “deep disappointment”, with chief executive and artistic director of the orchestra, Timothy Walker, saying: “This is a result of the closure of concert halls in all territories as a result of the measures being taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are incredibly sad to have had to cancel our tour and to disappoint our audiences.”

And the day before, pianist Yuja Wang cancelled her European tour, saying, “I am sad to share with you that I need to cancel my remaining solo tour dates in Europe. Unfortunately, due to the current climate of uncertainty, and related logistical challenges, it is not possible for me to continue the tour.”

Bavarian State Opera and the Salzberg Easter Festival have also had to cancel events, and the start of Glyndebourne this year has been delayed.

In America, major venues like Carnegie Hall and the Met in New York, and Washington’s Kennedy Center, have closed their doors. Back in February Boston Symphony Orchestra announced the cancellation of a significant tour to Asia and Italy’s iconic Teatro alla Scala shut its doors due to fears that the virus will continue to spread exponentially. With new measures being taken by governments at an increasing rate, it’s clear that some of classical music’s biggest institutions will be affected.

And now Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe will not go ahead this summer as planned.

Below is an ongoing list of major classical concerts, operas and other music events that have been cancelled around the world due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

Read more: Metropolitan Opera to Berlin Philharmonic – all the classical music concerts being streamed for free >

La Scala in Milan remains closed due to the spread of coronavirus.
La Scala in Milan remains closed due to the spread of coronavirus. Picture: Getty

Classical music venues closed due to coronavirus

20 March: Opera North and Leeds Playhouse have cancelled or postpone all public facing activity until the end of April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

18 March: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra announced that, following the latest government guidance, all concerts at Symphony Hall will be cancelled until at least mid-April. The CBSO Centre will also be closed to the public, and all CBSO learning and participation activity has been suspended until further notice.

17 March: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra announced the closure of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Music Room, with the cancellation of all events in those venues until 19 April, following the latest government advice about coronavirus.

17 March: Kings Place announced “with heavy hearts” that it is temporarily closing and suspending all programming until Public Health England advice changes.

17 March: St George’s Bristol announced imminent closure due in accordance with UK Government guidance around coronavirus.

17 March: St John’s Smith Square in London announced that it will be closed until at least 27 May due to the spread of coronavirus and on the advice of the government.

17 March: The Barbican announced that it is temporarily closed due to coronavirus, and recommended that the public “keeps checking this page for the latest information on refunds for cancelled events”.

17 March: Royal Albert Hall closed its doors to the public “until further notice” due to new coronavirus measures.

16 March: English National Opera announced imminent closure “until further notice” due to new government-announced coronavirus measures.

16 March: Wigmore Hall in London announced it will be closed from 17 March until July 31 (unless announced otherwise) due to coronavirus.

16 March: The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London took the decision “with a heavy heart” to close the building to the public and cancel all performances with immediate effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Musicians in Lucerne perform to an empty concert hall due to coronavirus.
Musicians in Lucerne perform to an empty concert hall due to coronavirus. Picture: Getty

12 march: According to this Facebook post, all John Hopkins schools – including the Peabody Conservatory – will be closed until 12 April at the earliest, due to coronavirus precautions.

12 March: The Julliard School in new York took the “unprecedented step of going to remote learning for the rest of the semester” and cancelled all events. The school has also asked students to move out of the residence hall by 22 March, for “the remainder of the year”.

12 March: The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington announced that it’s closed to the public due to COVID-19 measures.

12 March: Carnegie Hall in New York announced that it will be closed for all public events and programming until 25 July 2020, in an effort to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.

11 March: Berlin Philharmonic Hall will be closed until 19 April as a measure to counteract the spread of coronavirus. The Berlin Philharmonic’s upcoming Berio concert will be streamed for free, via the orchestra’s Digital Concert Hall.

3 March: Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England closed after a teacher was tested positive for coronavirus (reopening Monday 9 March).

2 March: Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy closed due to the spread of coronavirus.

31 January: Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, Italy controversially cancelled lessons for all “oriental” students due to coronavirus fears.

The Royal Albert Hall, which turns 150 next year, is temporarily closed due to coronavirus.
The Royal Albert Hall, which turns 150 next year, is temporarily closed due to coronavirus. Picture: Getty

Classical music concerts cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus

Also see list of closed venues above.

25 March: André Rieu’s UK and Ireland tour has been postponed until September due to COVID-19.

20 March: Classic FM Live, due to take place at the Royal Albert Hall on 18 May 2020, can no longer take place due to coronavirus measures.

19 March: Royal Scottish National Orchestra cancelled all concerts until at least 29 April 2020, due to coronavirus.

19 March: Opera Holland Park has announced that its June-August 2020 season won’t go ahead “as a consequence of the UK government’s advice relating to the COVID-19 outbreak”. The company have called it a postponement and plan to schedule the planned programme for a later date,

19 March: National Children’s Orchestra announced the cancellation of its spring residency concerts – at the Lighthouse in Poole on Sunday 12 April (NCO), and at The Anvil in Basingstoke on Saturday 18 April (Under 13s) due to the spread of COVID-19.

18 March: Opera North cancelled all public performances and activity until the end of April, due to the spread of coronavirus.

18 March: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has cancelled Arabian Nights on 1 April at Lighthouse Poole and on 26 March at Great Hall, Exeter University due to COVID-19.

18 March: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has cancelled Arabian Nights on 25 March at Lighthouse Poole and on 26 March at Portsmouth Guildhall due to COVID-19.

18 March: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has cancelled Elektra on 18 March at Lighthouse Poole and on 21 March at Symphony Hall in Birmingham due to COVID-19.

16 March: OperaGlass Works announced the cancellation of Britten’s Turn of the Screw at Wilton’s in London due to government measures against coronavirus.

16 March: The Royal Academy of Music suspended all performances until the end of the term (Friday 3 April) due to COVID-19. The Royal College of Music has also cancelled performances and events for the time being. Other conservatoires in London and around the country have cancelled public concerts.

16 March: The Leeds International Piano Competition cancelled Sunday 22 March’s day of public events planned to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Dame Fanny Waterman.

12 March: The Salzburg Easter Festival 2020 was cancelled “with great regret” due to the “the prospect of an official prohibition” being made a reality with new measures taken to curb the spread of coronavirus.

12 March: LA Philharmonic cancelled all performances until the end of March due to coronavirus containment measures.

12 March: The New York Philharmonic cancelled all performances until the end of March due to coronavirus containment measures.

12 March: Washington Ballet announced that Swan Lake will be rescheduled to June 2020 due to efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

12 March: Philadelphia Orchestra cancelled all events and rehearsals through to 23 March, in anticipation of the City of Philadelphia’s recommendation that all large gatherings be suspended to limit the spread of coronavirus.

12 March: LA Opera cancelled Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux due to the statewide effort to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

12 March: Seattle Opera cancelled all events until the end of March due to restrictions on gatherings of more than 250 people in response to COVID-19.

12 March: The Metropolitan Opera in new York cancelled all performances and rehearsals until 31 March, saying, “With health authorities urging social distancing with greater emphasis, it is simply untenable for us to continue to perform, as it puts our artists, staff, and audiences at risk.”

12 March: André Rieu announced that he and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will be cancelling the remainder of their USA tour due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

12 March: London Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled its seven-date European tour to Luxembourg, Germany and Austria (13-19 March 2020) due to measures being taken in each of the cities to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Carnegie Hall in New York has closed its doors due to coronavirus.
Carnegie Hall in New York has closed its doors due to coronavirus. Picture: Getty

11 March: Bavarian State Opera cancelled all performances until 19 April due to coronavirus.

11 March: San José Opera has cancelled The Magic Flute and launched a fund to support performers out of work as a result of measures taken by the USA to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

11 March: Pianist Lang Lang’s concert in Freiburg was cancelled due to the new COVID19 regulations. His team are currently working on finding a new concert date.

11 March: Pianist Yuja Wang cancelled her remaining solo tour dates in Europe, due to ongoing uncertainty around coronavirus measures.

Read more: Tom Hanks supports his wife at Sydney Opera House performance before coronavirus diagnosis >

10 March: San Diego Opera performances cancelled due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

9 March: Orchestre de Paris concerts cancelled following France’s ban of all gatherings of 1000 people or more.

9 March: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra cancelled upcoming 20 March concert in Paris.

9 March: Cleveland Orchestra cancelled its tour of Europe and the Middle East.

6 March: Edinburgh International Harp Festival cancelled over coronavirus fears.

6 March: International Low Flutes Festival in Japan cancelled by BETA Quartet.

5 March: All Tokyo Spring Festival events will now be performed ‘without an audience’ for live streaming.

5 March: Biwako Hall in Shiga, Japan cancelled Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.

Read more: Stranded Chinese musicians film messages of ‘love and hope’ during coronavirus outbreak >

28 February: Various concerts cancelled at Teatro La Fenice in Italy.

28 February: Lausanne Chamber Orchestra cancelled March concerts in Lausanne, Switzerland.

27 February: National Symphony Orchestra cancelled its tour to Japan.

5 Feb: The Philharmonic Society of Orange County in Southern California cancelled its Feb. 5 Chinese New Year Celebration concert by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra due to coronavirus fears.

4 Feb: Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s tour of Japan and Korea postponed to later in the year, due to coronavirus.

30 January: Boston Symphony Orchestra cancelled its concert tour of Asia.

Other classical music events and festivals cancelled due to coronavirus

Also see list of closed venues above.

1 April: Edinburgh International Festival organisers announced the “hugely disappointing decision” they have had to take to cancel the 2020 edition of the festival due to the spread of COVID-19.

1 April: It was announced Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer “will not go ahead as planned” in the interest of public and artist safety following the spread of coronavirus and measures being taken to try and contain the pandemic.

31 March: Bayreuth Festival 2020 has been cancelled due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and it was announced that the 2021 season will now include the new production of the The Flying Dutchman along with productions previously planned for 2020.

30 March: It was announced “with enormous sadness” that Aldeburgh Festival 2020 has been cancelled – and this is the first time in its history that it will not go ahead – due to the unprecedented circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

28 March: Henley Festival has been postponed for a full year, and will be retuning in July 2021, following government advice around travel restrictions and social distancing measures in the face of coronavirus.

26 March: The 2020 Verbier Festival has had to be cancelled due to coronavirus measures.

26 March: It was announced that the 2020 East Neuk Festival, due to take place in July, has had to be cancelled.

23 March: Longbrorough Festival will not proceed with its 2020 season, due to Government recommendations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

20 March: Nevill Holt Opera has postponed its 2020 summer season due to coronavirus measures.

20 March: Garsington Opera announced that it has taken the decision not to proceed with its 2020 season, due to the unfolding impact of COVID-19, and in light of the Government’s current advice on coronavirus.

19 March: National Children’s Orchestra Spring 2020 residencies and concerts cancelled “with deep regret” due to coronavirus.

19 March: The Ivor’s Academy has postponed the Ivor Awards 2020 from May to September due to the spread of COVID-19.

18 March: Buxton International Festival 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus.

18 March: The Grange Festival, due to take place in June, has announced that “there is nothing else they can do” and they “must” cancel after the measures the government has announced in the face of coronavirus.

18 March: The start of Glyndebourne Festival will be delayed until Tuesday 14 July, in light of the Government’s strong advice to avoid public gatherings in spaces such as theatres, in response to the spread of COVID-19.

17 March: Royal Philharmonic Society cancelled Mahan Esfahani and François-Xavier Roth’s talk on making music in modern times that had been due to take place on the evening of Friday 20 March.

16 March: The International Opera Awards 2020 ceremony has been postponed in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, and will now take place on 21 September 2020.

12 March: The 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition preliminary round has been postponed from April 2020, to September 2020.

10 March: International Artist Managers’ Association cancelled its 2020 conference in Barcelona due to coronavirus.

9 March: GEMA cancels Musikautoren awards ceremony following advice on coronavirus from the health authorities.

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