CPO cancels in-person concerts slated for rest of the season

Conductor Rune Bergmann and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Postmedia Archives

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As the pandemic drags on and more stringent rules are put in place, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra has cancelled its planned in-person concerts for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

“We had many great concerts planned and we know this is disappointing,” said Paul Dornian, president and CEO of Calgary Phil. “Although we hoped to resume our season in the new year, it’s simply not physically or financially feasible due to the ongoing limits on the size of indoor gatherings, combined with travel issues affecting our guest artists. We continue to monitor the situation and when the time is right we’ll start opening our doors to small, physically distanced audiences.”

The CPO has been offering small concerts, working up from solos to quartets for online audiences. The goal was to slowly keep adding musicians as health rules eased and to open up to small concerts in 2021. But as Alberta’s COVID cases continue to rise, regulations have only become more stringent, not less.

“We’re still hopeful that we will be able to offer some very special events for our community before the end of the season,” said Dornian. Subscribers who purchased tickets to any Calgary Philharmonic concerts from January to June 2021 will receive the full value of those tickets through their choice of a refund or a credit. If any of the concerts are able to be rescheduled by June 2021, previous ticket buyers will get priority.

The CPO will continue its online fall concert series, which resumes Nov. 21 and runs weekly to Dec. 19. The video performances remain available online for 30 days following each premiere. Music director Rune Bergmann said thousands tuned in to watch the first concerts in the series.

“We continue with chamber music ensembles featuring our own musicians performing a combination of contemporary and classical works, then as the holidays approach, we have some special projects lined up to fill your homes with seasonal music.”

The first three concerts feature works by contemporary and traditional composers, and the final two in December will be holiday-themed, with details to be revealed at a later date. Viewers are required to register in advance at calgaryphil.com.