The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) announced the cancellation of its scheduled performances for the first portion of their season – September, October, November, December – due to the ongoing health and public safety concerns related to Covid-19. This includes the season opening concert of Beethoven 9, The Music of Journey & Queen, and the annual Holiday Concert.
“During the past several months, we have been monitoring the global conversation around public health as it pertains to concerts and large gatherings. Facing the prospect of a hall that will remain closed through the end of the calendar year (or open to an audience of no more than 50), we have made the difficult decision to cancel all programming currently planned up to December 31, 2020, ” said Erik Malmquist, Executive Director of the ESO. “While this is difficult news for us as an organization, we hope to use these intervening two months between the cancellation and what was to have been Beethoven 9 to work on safer, smaller-scale events that will keep our audience engaged and the Elgin Symphony playing in a safe and responsible way.”
The ESO has been diligently working on creating alternative concert opportunities in new venues which will allow for social distancing as well as offering the option for live-streaming so patrons may enjoy from their homes. The alternative concerts will take place on Friday, September 11th at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard in Pingree Grove and on Saturday, September 12th at The Haight in Elgin. They will feature repertoire that includes George Walker’s Lyric for Strings and Haydn’s Symphony No 60 and will feature virtuoso violinist and Chicago resident Philippe Quint of Massenet and Sarasate. There will be a very limited number of tickets available to these performances, but streaming tickets will be available for purchase.
“The impact of Covid-19 on the arts and those who create it has been immeasurable, but we will not let this be the end. The fall will look very different, but by being flexible, staying active, staying engaged and adapting to the cultural moment, we will do everything we can to use this time to give the organization renewed purpose and direction,” said Erik Malmquist. The ESO has launched a fundraising campaign to help alleviate some of the financial impact this pandemic has caused.