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Sarasota Orchestra cancels remainder of season

Sarasota Music Festival, Outdoor Pops shows among those called off

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  • | 3:56 p.m. April 6, 2020
  • Arts + Entertainment
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They held out hope as long as they could that it wouldn’t be a completely silent spring, but the Sarasota Orchestra announced Monday that it is canceling the remainder of its 2019-20 season, as well as the annual three-week Sarasota Music Festival, slated for May 31 through June 20.

Prior to Monday’s announcement, the orchestra had canceled all concerts, events and activities through the end of April.

The decision to end the season altogether pertains to “Discover Beethoven’s Seventh,” the last of this season’s Discover Beethoven series, scheduled for May 2 and 3, and the “Outdoor Pops: Iconic Songs of the ’70s” concerts with fireworks at Ed Smith Stadium.

Violinist Alexandra Soumm has been scheduled to be a guest artist at
Violinist Alexandra Soumm has been scheduled to be a guest artist at "Discover Beethoven's Seventh." (Photo courtesy of Benjamin Ealovega)

“The decision to cancel the remainder of the Sarasota Orchestra season and the Sarasota Music Festival was taken with great care,” says Sarasota Orchestra President & CEO Joseph McKenna.

The orchestra has been monitoring the situation, particularly government recommendations, on a daily basis. Though the current statewide stay-at-home order currently extends until the end of April, the general consensus is daily activity, especially activities involving large crowds, won’t be anything resembling normal for some time after that.

“Our primary concern is the health and safety of the community,” McKenna says. Although we are unable to finish our season, we are looking forward and committed to sharing the healing power of music with our community in the future.”

McKenna added that they were still looking at the possibility of rescheduling music festival programming connected to The Suffragist Project, a monthslong series of performances and other events marking the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. The project is set to culminate in mid-August, which still presents a window of opportunity. 

As with all area arts organizations, ticket holders to canceled orchestra events are asked to considered making the face value of the ticket a tax-deductible donation. They also have the option of applying the value of canceled tickets to subscriptions or tickets to the recently announced 2020-21 season. Information about both options can be found at

Those with tickets to the Outdoor Pops concerts should visit the Baltimore Orioles website,

Meanwhile, Sarasota Orchestra reminds its patrons that it has launched a virtual connectivity initiative called Music Moves Us, where audiences can find a growing collection of videos featuring music and other content by members of the orchestra, including messages and music from Artistic Advisor Jeffrey Kahane, musician vignettes and other tidbits. It can all be found at, with updates noted on the orchestra's Facebook and Instagram pages. 

Orchestra fans can also hear recordings of concerts from the past two years at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on WSMR, 89.1 or 103.9 FM. Once a concert is aired, it will be available to listened to on the WSMR website


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