New York Philharmonic Annual Summer 2020 Performances Will Not Take Place

By: May. 07, 2020
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New York Philharmonic Annual Summer 2020 Performances Will Not Take Place

The New York Philharmonic announced today that it will not perform in the summer of 2020 in order to protect its audience, musicians, and employees from COVID-19. This affects the concerts in the parks; the performances in China as part of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership; and the residency at Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado. The Philharmonic plans to resume all three annual appearances in the summer of 2021.

June would have marked the New York Philharmonic's 55th season of free concerts in the parks in all five New York City boroughs: Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx; the Great Lawn in Central Park, Manhattan; Cunningham Park, Queens; Prospect Park, Brooklyn; and the St. George Theatre in Staten Island. The New York Philharmonic is grateful to Didi and Oscar Schafer and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs for their longtime support of the concerts in the parks.

The Orchestra would then have traveled to China for its sixth consecutive summer of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership in July. Jaap van Zweden would have conducted concerts in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong; Philharmonic musicians would have led master classes and taught lessons at the Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA); and Jaap van Zweden would have conducted a side-by-side rehearsal with the Philharmonic joined by SOA students. The visit to China has been postponed until the summer of 2021. Launched in September 2014, the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership is a joint endeavor of the New York Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. The partnership began with the establishment of the SOA in partnership with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and under the leadership of founding president Long Yu. The two-year post-graduate program was designed to address the need for advanced orchestral training in China. Long Yu and SOA students, faculty, and staff have donated 3,000 surgical masks to the musicians and staff of the Philharmonic. The New York Philharmonic extends its sincere thanks to Starr International Foundation, Presenting Sponsor of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership.

The Orchestra would have made its 18th consecutive appearance at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival in July, when Jaap van Zweden would have conducted four concerts and Bramwell Tovey would have led two concerts.

To simulate the experience of a live concert and foster a sense of community among classical music fans worldwide, the New York Philharmonic has been broadcasting past performances on Facebook and YouTube Premieres since March 26, with most available on-demand afterward. Many feature new interviews with the artists and Philharmonic Radio Host Alec Baldwin.

On March 23 the New York Philharmonic launched NY Phil Plays On, a portal for free digital content to provide comfort and connection to millions of classical music fans worldwide. Available at, the portal currently includes full concert broadcasts; musicians performing and collaborating from afar in the We Are NY Phil @ Home series; episodes of the award-winning radio program The New York Philharmonic This Week, hosted by Alec Baldwin; video of Young People's Concerts; and highlights from the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives. Many more hours of digital content, including performance footage both past and new, will continue to be released.

Photo Credit: Chris Lee