Saturday, March 7, 2020

Notices of Cancellations Due to COVID-19

Yesterday, in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus), Mayor London N. Breed ordered that all public performances, events, and gatherings at the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center are to be cancelled from today (March 7) through Friday, March 20. For those unfamiliar with the full scope of the War Memorial, the venues affected by this cancellation will include the War Memorial Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall, and the Veterans Building, which includes Herbst Theatre, The Green Room, the Taube Atrium Theater, the Bryan Education Studio, and the Veterans Meeting Rooms.

This order will have significant impact, and it is likely that this will be the first of several articles dealing with cancellations and their after-effects. For example, within the designated span of time, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will have to cancel four concert programs:
  1. March 8: the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble let by Michael Barenboim
  2. March 12–14: the SFS concert conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas with Gautier Capuçon as guest soloist
  3. March 15: a concert by the SFS Youth Orchestra featuring the music of Benjamin Britten
  4. March 17: a flute recital by James Galway
Since last month saw the cancellation of the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra, which was scheduled to make its debut in Davies Symphony Hall this month, readers probably “know the drill” of how SFS handles cancellations. There are the usual four options for those already holding tickets:
  1. Tickets may be exchanged for any future performance in the current season; and all exchange fees will be waived.
  2. Tickets may be exchanged for a gift certificate, which can be used at any time.
  3. Those who choose to donate their tickets will be entitled to a tax deduction for the total ticket value.
  4. Any ticket may be exchanged for its full refund value.
Those requiring assistance for any of these options may get in touch with Patron Services, which may be reached by telephoning the Box Office at 415-864-6000 or by electronic mail. One can also visit the Box Office, on the south side of Grove Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, for assistance. Patron Services hours are the same as those of the Box Office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and two hours prior to any concert on Sunday.

In conjunction with the Mayor’s orders, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Department of Emergency Management released a general set of public health recommendations. These included “cancelling or postponing large gatherings, such as concerts, sporting events, conventions, or large community events.” To this end Old First Concerts (O1C) has chosen to cancel the first of the four concerts to be performed under the header BEET250VEN in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, which will take place in December. This was to be the Akademie Gala concert, scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. Those already holding tickets have options similar to those of SFS ticket holders:
  1. The ticket can be used for admission to a future concert.
  2. The price of the ticket can serve as a donation to O1C.
  3. The ticket-holder can collect a refund.

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