Long Beach Symphony announced Monday that “due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis,” it is postponing all concerts scheduled as part of its 2020-21 Classical and Pops seasons. Additionally, two Pops concert holdovers from the 2019-20 season—Broadway Blockbusters and A Night of Symphonic Rock—have been canceled.
Given that live musical performances were one of the earliest and, appears, longest-lasting cultural casualties of the pandemic, Monday’s announcement was not surprising, though it came as a blow to Music Director Eckart Preu who said in a statement: “While this news may not be surprising, we are heartbroken, nonetheless.”
Symphony officials said that all 2020-21 subscription packages will be moved into the 2021-22 season to allow subscribers to retain their seats when they feel “comfortable returning for a full season of music.” Officials say that the entire 2021-22 season will be announced in the spring of 2021.
Violins of Hope, the symphony’s most eagerly awaited performance in years, is still listed on its website as being performed on Feb. 6, 2021, but that performance seems doubtful at best. Violins of Hope, featuring instruments once played by Jews during the Holocaust, has already been postponed from its original performance date of April 25, 2020.
Speaking of Violins of Hope, Symphony President Kelly Lucera said in a statement, “another postponement seems likely, although we are in close contact with our Southern California co-producers and the owner of the Violins of Hope collection Avshi Weinstein. We remain committed to presenting an artistically fulfilling and emotionally powerful event that will be worth the wait.”