The Nashville Symphony announced that it will suspend all activities through July 31, 2021. Furloughs will be issued to 128 employees, including Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and 79 musicians, beginning July 1.

The Nashville Symphony has already been forced to cancel or reschedule more than 65 concerts and events since early March, with losses projected to total $8 million, i.e. nearly 30% of the Symphony’s annual income.

“This was an extremely difficult and painful decision to make,” Board Chair Mark Peacock says. “The Nashville Symphony’s management and board of directors have been exploring every available option to ensure the long-term sustainability of the institution. In light of our current challenges, we firmly believe that today’s decision is the best course of action to ensure that the Nashville Symphony can continue serving our community in the long run.”

“We realize the dramatic impact this decision will have on the lives of the very musicians and staff who have built the Nashville Symphony into the community treasure that it is today, and we are working hard to support them through this difficult transition. But without the ability to perform for the public, we are unable to generate essential operating revenue. And without that revenue, the Nashville Symphony faces a threat to its very existence. Until we have certainty that our economy can remain open, and that audiences are ready and able to return to large public gatherings, attempting to restart concert activity poses profound risks to our institution.”

“First and foremost,” Peacock continues, “we are dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of our patrons, along with our musicians, staff and volunteers. That means doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With operational costs totaling $2.3 million every month, we also face an enormous financial risk due to the continuing uncertainty caused by this pandemic. Therefore, we felt it necessary to take decisive action now to ensure that the Nashville Symphony is able to reemerge from the current crisis.”

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center will remain dark through July 31, 2021, unless the virus is contained well enough to fill seats.

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