The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is canceling all in-person concerts through December.
The nonprofit announced Thursday that it is wiping four months of concerts from its pared-back season scheduled to start Sept. 11 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, citing COVID-19 concerns.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t think that from a health and safety standpoint — for musicians, for staff, for the audience — that it was the right thing to do to give concerts,” said Jon Limbacher, managing director and president.
The SPCO is just the latest performing arts organization to cancel fall performances, setting its sights on 2021.
In the meantime, the chamber orchestra pointed fans to its free concert library, where it’s been streaming past shows. SPCO leaders are also weighing whether to gather some musicians to livestream new performances from the Ordway.
The organization had already slimmed its 2020-21 season, announced in May, nixing guest soloists and furloughing five artistic partners.
Even with canceled shows and the resulting loss of revenue, the organization is not planning to reduce the compensation of the orchestra, Limbacher said, or furlough or lay off staff.
Donors have helped. The SPCO has also built into its $11 million budget in recent years a rainy-day fund that it can draw on during tough times.
“We came into this crisis having set aside resources for a rainy day,” he said. “And it’s raining.”
The Minnesota Orchestra’s season is set to begin in September. The symphony orchestra will announce further plans around fall concerts at the end of August or early September, a spokesperson said Thursday.