New York Philharmonic Cancels the Rest of Its Season

The Metropolitan Opera will stay closed as a result of of the coronavirus pandemic no less than till September. The Broadway League’s president has likewise mentioned “people’s bets are the fall of next year” for a reopening of theaters.

Adding to this rising sense that the resumption of large-scale performing arts in New York, and all through a lot of the nation, remains to be nearly a 12 months away, the New York Philharmonic on Tuesday introduced the cancellation of its live shows by means of June.

“It is really fair to say that in the 178-year history of the Philharmonic, this is the single biggest crisis,” Deborah Borda, the orchestra’s president and chief govt, mentioned in an interview.

The halt in performances since mid-March has uncovered the Philharmonic, like different arts organizations depending on ticket gross sales, to a devastating drop in income. Ms. Borda mentioned the orchestra would have a deficit of roughly $10 million for the fiscal 12 months that led to August. The orchestra, which canceled its fall live shows in June, mentioned it anticipated shedding about $20 million in ticket income for the 2020-21 season, and has laid off roughly half its administrative workers. Those who stay and earn over $100,000 have had their salaries lower by as much as 30 %.

The Philharmonic’s contract with its musicians expired final month. As negotiations on a brand new contract proceed, the gamers are incomes what they’ve since May — about $2,200 per week, or 75 % of the orchestra’s base pay — however with a brand new wrinkle: Those who earned greater than base pay now additionally obtain 35 % of their “overscale,” or quantity above the base.

In the absence of a complete nationwide method to the virus, the orchestral panorama, like most points of life, has been topic to the patchwork of restrictions imposed by state and native governments. For instance, a good portion of the Cleveland Orchestra has been in a position to collect to play indoors with out an viewers, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic has come collectively outside at the Hollywood Bowl to tape packages for streaming. The Dallas and Houston symphonies have appeared indoors in entrance of small, socially distanced crowds. But the New York Philharmonic has not been permitted to assemble at something approaching full complement to carry out outside or create streaming content material.

“We’re hopeful to see major progress in the winter,” Ms. Borda mentioned. “If we can bring the musicians together in a sizable unit, that will be tremendous progress.”

The orchestra mentioned it might announce a collection of streamed, prerecorded small-ensemble performances at a later date. The NY Phil Bandwagon — a rented pickup truck that has appeared throughout the city for pop-up chamber concerts since August — will return in the spring.

Perhaps most tantalizing is the possibility that the enforced pause in performances at David Geffen Hall could allow the long-delayed effort to renovate the hall to be fast-tracked. The project is expected to cost $550 million, of which nearly $200 million remains to be raised, and construction had been scheduled to begin in May 2022.

“Like everything today, it’s complicated,” Ms. Borda said. “But I remain highly optimistic. The partnership between Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic is operating at the highest level one can imagine. If anything positive can come out of this crisis, it may be that we can move ahead on plans that have been percolating since the early ’90s. By the end of the year we’ll have an announcement.”

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