Toronto Symphony Orchestra cancels 2020-21 season, announces plans for smaller events

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its previously announced 2020-21 season of concerts and will instead perform in smaller ensembles across the Greater Toronto Area for audience sizes that align with COVID-19 health regulations.

Venues for the alternative programming will include the TSO’s home, Roy Thomson Hall, the organization said in a statement on Monday.

“We are fiercely committed to continuing to perform for Torontonians as the pandemic situation permits,” said CEO Matthew Loden. 

“The loss of ticket revenue this past season and projected loss of $11 million in ticket revenue in 2020/21 is very serious; however, it was clear to all of us that, for the TSO to survive this crisis, we must perform.”

The orchestra’s music director, Gustavo Gimeno, said: “As the world adapts to our new reality, our cherished orchestra has the opportunity to ignite a passion for extraordinary music with audiences in Toronto in more intimate settings, and to reconnect with our nearest and dearest patrons in unique ways.”

TSO musicians will also continue to perform virtual concerts. Since the start of the pandemic, musicians and guest artists have appeared in more than 100 virtual concerts and events, which have been viewed more than two million times, according to the TSO statement.

Members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra have come together, virtually, to perform for music lovers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (cnstntnrg/YouTube)

More information about the alternative programming is expected to be available in early fall.

The orchestra says 2020-21 season subscription funds will be automatically applied to its 2021-22 season, though subscribers are also eligible for a full refund.

Some of the TSO’s popular offerings including Yo-Yo Ma and its Star Wars film performances have been rescheduled for the orchestra’s upcoming 100th season in 2021-22.