Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Cancels Remaining 2020 Concerts

Members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Bass Section
Photo credit Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is canceling the rest of its 2020 concerts as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

In a notice posted to their website, the PSO says will implement a "reinvented" 2020-2021 season due to government resrictions and guidance from health officials.

“For this 125th season, now challenged in an unprecedented way, we recall the vision of our founders, including Andrew Carnegie, who started this orchestra when few cities had one. The joy of our symphonic music has enhanced the lives and been a source of civic pride for the many generations who have followed,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “While it is heartbreaking to know that we will not be able to share the special experiences that were planned for the fall, we simply can’t be together with our audience inside Heinz Hall at this time, given current building restrictions and public health guidance.”

One of the changes the PSO is making in response to the pandemic restrictions is hosting a free digital series this fall.

Subscriptions for this season will be valid for the 2021-22 season. 

The actions that the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is taking are:

All subscribers to the 2020-2021 season will have their subscriptions rolled automatically to the 2021-2022 season, which is also the 50th anniversary of the opening of Heinz Hall as home to the orchestra. These subscription series are BNY Mellon Grand Classics, PNC Pops, and Fiddlesticks Family Concerts.

Previously announced concerts for September-December 2020 at Heinz Hall are cancelled.

The Pittsburgh Symphony is working to incorporate pillar elements of the 125th anniversary season (such as artistic partnerships, commissions, and Beethoven in Your Neighborhood) into programming throughout 2021.

Fall 2020 digital series: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra plans to announce soon a new series of digital music programs that builds on the strength of the digital initiatives launched during the pandemic (“Extraordinary Measures” and “Summer with the Symphony” online) and will be made available to the public free of charge. The fall programs are being planned to include ensembles of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and will incorporate community artists and partners when possible, to create meaningful musical experiences during this time of shutdown of normal business and limited human interaction. They will be produced in accordance with health and safety regulations, including wearing masks and social distancing.

All Learning and Community Engagement concerts scheduled for September-December 2020 are cancelled. However, online content will be available in the fall.

The 125th Anniversary Celebration will move from October 3, 2020 to Saturday, February 27, 2021, the anniversary date of the very first Pittsburgh Symphony concert in 1896. The Mahler 8 program that was scheduled for February 26-28, 2021 is not able to be performed due to health and safety guidelines regarding choirs. New programming for that weekend, in addition to the 125th Anniversary Celebration, is being planned.

125th Season January-June: The Pittsburgh Symphony is currently planning to return to Heinz Hall in January 2021 with previously announced and newly imagined concerts, subject to ongoing public health guidance, and government regulations including possible travel restrictions. Tickets and subscriptions to this 2021 mini-season will be announced later in the fall.

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