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Boston Symphony Orchestra Cancels Europe Dates Over COVID

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Symphony Orchestra has canceled its European tour that had been scheduled for next month because of an increase in positive coronavirus cases among orchestra members as well as concerns about the rising number of cases on both sides of the Atlantic.

Despite health and safety protocols that include mandatory vaccinations for all musicians and daily testing for woodwind and brass instrumentalists, 31 onstage musicians were affected after recent performances, the BSO said in a statement Monday. Members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus were also affected.

The increase in cases in Europe could potentially disrupt travel during the tour, the BSO said.

The decision to cancel was made with “deep regret,” BSO President and CEO Gail Samuel said.

“Given the ongoing presence of COVID, brought home by its unfortunate impact on a significant number of our own artists, we must keep as our first priority the health and safety of everyone involved with the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” she said.

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The BSO had been scheduled to visit Vienna, Leipzig, Hamburg and Paris in May during a Strauss-focused tour partnership with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, under Andris Nelsons, who is the music director of both ensembles.

“I was deeply passionate and excited to share this international alliance — a musical and human bond between exceptional orchestras on two continents — with our audiences,” Nelsons said. “I am so very sorry for all presenters and audience members who were looking forward to the BSO’s performances, and to all the wonderful teams who spent so much time and energy on making this dream a reality.”

The Boston Symphony Orchestra hopes to visit Europe when conditions allow, Samuel said.

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