Carnegie Hall cancels remainder of season, anticipates downsized future schedules

Thu Apr 02, 2020 at 2:34 pm
Photo: Jeff Goldberg

Carnegie Hall has cancelled the rest of its 2019-20 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown. The announcement, made Thursday afternoon, applies to all hall events through July 25.

“Given Carnegie Hall’s primary commitment to the health and safety of the public, its artists, and staff, we had no choice other than to close the Hall through the end of the season in light of this ongoing crisis,” said Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director, in a released statement.

“While it is deeply disappointing not to be able to welcome our artists and concertgoers back this season, our team continues to work tirelessly to develop meaningful new ways to continue to connect with audiences, bringing the power and inspiration of music to people everywhere at a time when we all need it more than ever.”

Carnegie Hall is looking at a $9 million operating deficit in its $104 million budget for the current fiscal year (ending June 30). The press statement indicated that when the hall eventually reopens, Carnegie may be forced to mount a less ambitious schedule than it has historically presented, for many seasons to come.

“Almost overnight, recent events have shattered everyone’s world in unprecedented ways,” said Gillinson. “It will take considerable time, even after we reopen Carnegie Hall, before we can expect to see a full recovery, and, even then, this is likely to be over an extended period. With this in mind, we are taking immediate steps to safeguard the fiscal health of our institution as well as plan creatively for the future.”

The release said these steps includes “assessing the Hall’s overall programming and operations with an eye to redefining them for the next and future seasons in response to the changed economic conditions.”

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