The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in more pleasant times as it presented Symphony at Sunset this past summer at Sunset Beach.
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in more pleasant times as it presented Symphony at Sunset this past summer at Sunset Beach.

In a media release, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) has cancelled or postponed all concerts due to the COVID-19 health crisis through to June 6, the date of the final performance in its 2019-2020 subscription series. The cancellations will result in an estimated $3 million shortfall in ticket revenue.

“Our thrilling 101st season has closed with an unexpected bang,” says Maestro Otto Tausk in the release. “The right thing to do now is take an intermission, but we will make sure our 102nd season will be one of celebration.”

Tausk goes onto say he is looking forward to welcoming audiences back once the current health crisis allows. “Music can connect us and that is needed now more than ever. Please keep safe. We will make music together soon.”

In the release, the VSO says musicians and staff will remain employed until April 12, at which time all musicians and the majority of staff will be laid off. The VSO’s senior management team will take a voluntary 50% pay cut in solidarity with the musicians and staff.

“Our very purpose is to connect and bring people together but COVID-19 is forcing us apart,” says president and CEO Angela Elster of the VSO School of Music which has seen its programming moved online to ensure physical distancing.

Like many arts organizations around the globe, the VSO is asking patrons to donate tickets for cancelled concerts back to the VSO in exchange for a tax receipt.

Subscriptions to the VSO’s 2020-2021 season are now available for purchase. “By subscribing now, you will be helping the VSO musicians and staff through these unparalleled challenging times,” says the release.

Vancouver Presents will provide more details on the VSO’s 2020-2021 seasons next week.