New York Philharmonic Cancels Season for the First Time in 187 Years

“The cancellation of an entire New York Philharmonic season is not only unprecedented — it is devastating," its CEO and president said.

The New York Philharmonic has canceled its shows until June of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time in 178 years that the renowned orchestra will miss a season.

“The cancellation of an entire New York Philharmonic season is not only unprecedented — it is devastating, both in its impact on the morale of musicians and audiences, and in its profound economic consequences," Deborah Borda, president and CEO, said in a statement released Tuesday. "We know there was no other choice, but we also know that music is most meaningful when shared with listeners in a common space."

The decision to extend its closure complies with New York state's phase 4 guidelines that deem live, indoor "arts and entertainment activities" high risk.

Tickets sold for shows that are now canceled will automatically become credit for future use. Ticketholders who would like to donate the value of their ticket or receive a refund can contact customer relations at 212-875-5656 or

Initially, after closing in mid-March, the Philharmonic planned to restart shows in January of next year.

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

In the meantime, music lovers can enjoy the Philharmonic's performances from home thanks to a library of free online content, NY Phil Plays On. Additionally, the group has put on outdoor shows throughout New York City, in a concert series called NY Phil Bandwagon, which will return in the spring, according to the statement.

"The Philharmonic is resolved to continue to connect and perform during this time, and beyond," Borda said. "This will not be a silent season, and we eagerly anticipate September 2021, when the entire Orchestra can reunite with our audience. We cannot wait for that first downbeat!”

The announcement comes soon after other New York institutions including Broadway and the Metropolitan Opera also postponed their reopenings. Broadway will remain dark until May of 2021 and the Metropolitan Opera won't return until September of 2021.

Christine Burroni is Travel + Leisure’s Digital News Editor. Find her keeping up with just about everything on Twitter or see what she’s up to in NYC or on her latest trip on Instagram.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles