The Boston Symphony Orchestra has canceled a European tour scheduled for next month due to an increase in coronavirus cases among orchestra members, as well as fears of rising infections on both sides of the Atlantic.
Despite health protocols, which include mandatory vaccinations for all musicians and testing for wind section musicians, as well as all members of the Tanglewood Festival Choir, there were 31 cases among musicians and choir members following recent performances. , said the orchestra (BSO) on Monday.
While the increase in infections in Europe could affect their travel during the tour, the BSO added.
The decision to cancel was made “with a heavy heart,” said BSO President and CEO Gail Samuel.
“In the current presence of COVID, which has been brought to us by the unfortunate impact on a significant number of our own artists, we must keep the health and safety of everyone involved with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as our top priority,” he said. .
The BSO was to visit Vienna, Leipzig, Hamburg and Paris in May on a tour focused on the Strauss repertoire in association with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, under the direction of Andris Nelsons, who is the musical director of both ensembles.
“I was deeply passionate and excited to share this international alliance, a musical and human alliance between exceptional orchestras on two continents, with our audiences,” said Nelsons. “I’m so sorry for all the artists and audience members who looked forward to the BSO performances, and for all the wonderful teams who put so much time into making this dream come true.”
The BSO hopes to visit Europe when conditions allow, Samuel said.