The San Diego Symphony has postponed the opening next week in La Jolla of its winter-spring 2022 “Hear Us Here” season and has canceled two more performances, citing concerns about the growing variant of the Omicron coronavirus.
The symphony concert scheduled for Tuesday January 11 at Baker-Baum Concert Hall in La Jolla by guitarist Jason Vieaux and an 11-piece chamber orchestra has been postponed, with a new date to be announced.
The two canceled concerts were scheduled for January 15 and 16 at the San Diego Civic Theater and reportedly featured the symphony’s principal guest conductor, Edo de Waart, and guest violinist Simone Lamsma with the orchestra.
The “difficult decision” to postpone and cancel was made “after consulting with local health experts” about the increase in coronavirus cases in San Diego County, the symphony said in a statement on January 6.
The 112-year-old orchestra, California’s oldest, hopes to resume its new season on Friday, Jan. 28 at the San Diego Civic Theater if the rate of new cases and hospitalizations has dropped enough.
Eight other concerts in addition to the performance postponed from January 11 are scheduled at La Jolla.
“In light of the current level of transmission of COVID-19, we have deemed it prudent to cancel or postpone our performances next week,” said general manager of the symphony orchestra Martha Gilmer. The San Diego Union-Tribune. “By making this decision, we hope to be able to welcome our audience again sooner to enjoy live musical performances again.” Preserving and supporting the health of our musicians, our administration and our audiences is our main concern.
The symphony said it would contact ticket holders for postponed and canceled concerts “to share the options available to each customer.” Symphony music director Rafael Payare and his wife, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, both contracted COVID-19 last summer and have made a full recovery.
In 2021, the pandemic forced the orchestra to cancel part of its winter seasons and all of its spring season, followed by a pivot to several streaming concerts in the fall without an audience. Had everything gone according to plan this year, the symphony’s winter-spring 2022 season would have included 32 concerts at nine venues in San Diego County and one in Palm Desert.
When they resume, the orchestra’s indoor performances for the winter-spring season will require all spectators to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, present proof of full vaccination and wear masks while in attendance.
On January 5, the California Health and Human Services Agency extended the mandate of the state’s indoor masks until at least February 15 due to the growing number of coronavirus cases statewide.
The final eight performances of the season’s Symphony, all in May, are scheduled to take place outdoors at the Rady Shell in Jacobs Park, the Symphony’s new $ 85 million venue by the Bay in San Diego.
For more information visit SanDiegoSymphony.org.
– La Jolla Light staff contributed to this report. ??