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Cleveland Orchestra Cancels Spring Tour Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Music director Franz Welser Most conducts the Cleveland Orchestra [ideastream]
Music director Franz Welser Most conducts the Cleveland Orchestra

The Cleveland Orchestra called off its spring tour of Europe and Abu Dhabi due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns Monday. In an email statement, Orchestra CEO Andre Gremillet said the decision came after consultation with health professionals.

"We have been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, with a focus on gathering facts from the many qualified medical experts available to us both here in Cleveland and around the world," he said. "After extended deliberation and based on information from these experts, we have made the decision that The Cleveland Orchestra will not travel to Europe and Abu Dhabi for our previously announced tour this March and April. We are very disappointed we won’t be able to perform due to circumstances out of our control, and we very much appreciate the understanding of everyone involved, especially our audiences and presenting partners for this tour." 

Though he wouldn't specify numbers, Gremillet told ideastream that canceling the tour is an economic hit for the orchestra.

"We had a tour that was planned a long time ago, and there are some financial implications for us. It's really not good," he said, adding that the impact extends to the orchestra's presenters abroad, as well as vendors and contractors.

The orchestra was scheduled to depart for the 11-concert tour on March 19 and return April 5. Gremillet said that the orchestra is looking at the possibility of rescheduling some of the concerts and that alternative plans regarding the orchestra's upcoming schedule will be announced soon.

David C. Barnett was a senior arts & culture reporter for Ideastream Public Media. He retired in October 2022.