The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) was supposed to perform in Vienna, Leipzig, Hamburg, and Paris from May 15–24, 2022.
However, due to the rising number of cases and the potential travel disruption within an international tour, the orchestra has decided to cancel.
The Strauss-focused tour was to feature a partnership with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (GHO) under the direction of Andris Nelsons, who is the music director of both ensembles.
"The tour of both the BSO and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in Europe was an immense, unique, and innovative undertaking," 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. Of course, I respect the decision and the circumstances surrounding it."
An official statement from the BSO also said that, following recent Symphony Hall performances, there has been an increase in cases among the members of the orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus. There were a reported 31 onstage musicians affected by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, but luckily, no cases were severe.
At the BSO's performance space, Symphony Hall, COVID-19 measures remain in effect. All performers are required to be vaccinated and boosted, while all members of the chorus, wind, and brass sections are tested daily and string players are tested twice per week.
Audience members, on the other hand, are required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative test result to enter Symphony Hall and must remain masked throughout.
"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," said BSO President and CEO Gail Samuel. "Sadly, the only prudent and responsible course of action is, with deep regret, to cancel the European tour."
Other organizations are also rethinking their international travel in the upcoming months. The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra recently announced it was canceling a tour of Japan and South Korea in June over the same concerns.