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Boston Pops Spring 2020 Season Canceled

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Boston Pops Spring 2020 Season Canceled

The 2020 Boston Pops spring season, which was to take place May 16-June 13, has been canceled due to ongoing concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The 2020 Boston Pops season was designed as a celebration of Keith Lockhart's 25th anniversary season; this special recognition of Mr. Lockhart's enormous contribution to the Pops as its leader since 1995 will now take place during the 2021 Boston Pops spring season.

A near-unprecedented moment in the 135-year history of the Boston Pops, the cancellation of the upcoming season is the first time an entire season of the famed ensemble has been canceled since 1890; that year there were no Boston Pops concerts due to the fact that the managers at the time were unable to procure a liquor license.

Quote from Mark Volpe, Julian and Eunice Cohen BSO President and CEO
"The cancellation of the 2020 Boston Pops season represents a sad day for all of us who cherish and work for this beloved institution, including Keith Lockhart, who we were looking forward to honoring on the occasion of his 25th anniversary season this spring. In response to these extraordinary times of COVID-19, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to do everything we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our patrons, staff, and musicians.

"Though these are difficult times, we are wholeheartedly committed to keeping our focus on the future when the Boston Pops can return to what it has done best since its founding in 1885-presenting its audiences an extraordinary array of musical styles and fun-filled entertainment in the singular setting and acoustics of world-famous Symphony Hall.

"As one of Boston's most treasured cultural experiences-the Boston Pops, under the inimitable leadership of Keith Lockhart, looks forward to a brighter time when it can bring the joy and inspiration of its music-making back into the lives of music lovers from our wonderful city of Boston and visitors from far and wide. Until then, we wish everyone the very best-especially those suffering directly with the virus and their caretakers-as we all do our parts to counter the effects of the coronavirus and return soon to the vibrant life of our city, our country, and the world."

Updates on the 2020 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and 2020 Tanglewood Season

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is in daily conversations to assess the advisability of proceeding with all its upcoming programming over the next few months, including the 2020 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and the 2020 Tanglewood season, in connection with the spread of COVID-19. We are currently weighing all the possible scenarios for these major summertime offerings and are planning to make a final decision about them by mid-May. Whatever decisions are made regarding this year's Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and Tanglewood season, they will be reached following recommendations over the next several weeks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as in close consultation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and City of Boston.

We want to assure all Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and Tanglewood fans that the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Inc. (parent company to Boston Pops) will monitor the above-mentioned recommendations daily and proceed carefully and cautiously in the decision-making process, while keeping the public up-to-date through press announcements and periodic messaging at and on all the orchestra's social media channels once the decisions are made in May. The Boston Symphony Orchestra will always hold the health and well-being of its audiences, musicians, staff, guest artists, and the entire BSO and Pops communities as the highest priority in its decision-making regarding all the organization's performance and event schedules in Boston and the Berkshires.

Donations / Ticket Exchanges / Refunds During Period of Symphony Hall Closure
Due to the financial impact of concert cancellations on the Boston Pops Orchestra, we ask patrons, whenever possible, to consider donating their tickets back to the orchestra and receiving a receipt for a tax-deductible donation equal to the total ticket value. Otherwise, the Pops is also offering a credit towards a future performance. An additional option being offered is a refund for the value of the tickets purchased. For further information about ticket accommodations or to request further information about the concert cancellations, patrons can contact the BSO's Customer Service Department at or call 617-266-1200. Symphony Charge (617-266-1200), the Boston Pops ticketing sales office, will remain open during this period of concert cancellations. The Symphony Hall box offices is closed for walk-up sales at this time.

Additional Performances/Events Canceled in Boston and the Berkshires
Several Tanglewood Learning Institute spring season activities, to have taken place in May at the Linde Center at Tanglewood, have also been canceled (please note: the TLI's summer schedule that is part of the 2020 Tanglewood season is scheduled to proceed as planned). The canceled activities for the month of May include:

• TLI Focal Point: Photography sessions, May 2, 9, and 16
• TLI Talks Series: Beyond the Muse, May 3 and 10
• TLI Cinematics: presentation of Echo in the Canyon, May 7
• TLI Immersion Weekend: Historic Artists' Homes, May 15-17
• TLI Taste: Around the World, May 28
• TLI: African Drumming and Dancing Workshop, May 28
• the 15th anniversary of the Berkshire International Film Festival, May 29-31

Information about the Tanglewood Learning Institute can be found at Information about the Berkshire International Film Festival can be found at In addition, the Berkshire Choral International's performance that was scheduled to take place on June 6 in Ozawa Hall is being postponed until 2021, date to be determined; additional information can be found at

Boston Pops at Home Online Digital Offering Available in Early May
The Boston Pops at Home online initiative, to be released in early May, will be modeled in part on a previously announced (and still available) online initiative, BSO at Home-a wide variety of audio and video options made available to the Boston Symphony's music community at during the orchestra's recently announced performance/event hiatus. (Click here to view March concert cancellation announcement; click here to view more details about the BSO at Home initiative).

As part of these offerings during this period of concert cancellations due to COVID-19, the BSO also is presenting a special video stream of Concert for Our City: Now Streaming For All, a 70-minute performance available to a worldwide audience via YouTube at through May 19. The Thomas Wilkins-led YouTube stream, Concert for Our City, features a wide-ranging program including works by Tchaikovsky, Ginastera, and Brahms. Conceived by Mr. Wilkins with a theme of "Beautiful Sounds of Friendship," the program also includes Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo's Folksongs for Orchestra, George Walker's Lyric for String Orchestra, and the finale of Dvořák's Cello Concerto with cellist Sterling Elliott, the 2014 winner of the Sphinx Competition. Click here for a complete program listing.

Concert for Our City was video recorded during a full-capacity live performance at Symphony Hall on February 16. The concert was part of a series of free BSO musical offerings in February-including pop-up concerts with BSO musicians throughout Greater Boston-that took place during the time the orchestra would have been on an East Asia tour, February 6-16. The planned tour to Seoul, Taipei, Shanghai, and Hong Kong was canceled on Thursday, January 30, due to increasing concerns over widely documented official news and government agency reports assessing the spread of COVID-19 (click here for tour cancellation release).

This 2020 Boston Pops season cancellation announcement follows previous concert cancellation announcements regarding the seven last weeks of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's 2019-20 season (click here for March 12 and 18 cancellation announcements).

Description of 2020 Boston Pops Season Programming: now canceled

Created in honor of Keith Lockhart's 25th anniversary with the Boston Pops, the 2020 Pops Season planned to reunite Maestro Lockhart with many of his favorite performers, such as the comic/illusionist duo Penn & Teller who originally appeared in Lockhart's first year as Boston Pops Conductor in 1995, the Boston-based alternative-rock band Guster which made its Pops debut in 2005, Broadway stars Megan Hilty and Jason Danieley, pop icon Sting for the annual fundraiser Presidents at Pops, and local songwriter/author Amanda Palmer and her husband, writer/storyteller Neil Gaiman. Salutes to Broadway, film, and Americana were to include a concert version of the 1998 Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime; a screening of the classic 1980 film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back accompanied by John Williams' blockbuster score; Songs of America with award-winning biographer Jon Meacham and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus; The Wonderful World of Alan Menken's Music with special guests Sierra Boggess, Telly Leung, and Alton Fitzgerald White; Film Night: Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton with conductor Ted Sperling and TFC; Maestro Lockhart leading Star Wars: The Story in Music; and Gospel Night with gospel superstar Smokie Norful.

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