DSO postpones upcoming Florida tour, cites latest COVID surge

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has postponed its upcoming Florida tour, citing the latest surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.

The orchestra was supposed to embark on a 5-day tour starting Jan. 15 with performances in Miami, West Palm Beach, Gainesville and Sarasota. It would've been the DSO's first tour with new music director Jader Bignamini. Officials said the tour will be rescheduled for a future season.

“Protecting the health and safety of our patrons, musicians, staff, and stage crew has been our top priority since the start of the pandemic,” said DSO President and CEO Erik Rönmark in a press release Thursday. “While we are disappointed that we will not be able to perform this month for community partners and audiences in West Palm Beach, Miami, Gainesville, and Sarasota, we know that this is the responsible decision for the orchestra at this time.”  

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jader Bignamini conducts Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in 2020.

The DSO last toured Florida in 2014, that time under the direction of music director Leonard Slatkin.

“I am very sad to not have the opportunity to demonstrate the incredible musicianship of the DSO to our friends in Florida this month but protecting the health of our DSO family is so important,” said Bignamini, who was named music director in early 2020, in a press release. “Touring is vital to orchestras as outstanding as ours, and I look forward to future opportunities to bring the DSO to audiences in Florida and around the world.”

A planned send-off concert performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Orchestra Hall, meanwhile, will still be held, but instead as a stand alone program. Bignamini will conduct Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (orchestrated by Ravel), and Dvořák’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor with guest soloist Joshua Roman.

“As much as we would like to go, DSO musicians completely understand this difficult decision and look forward to performing for audiences in Florida in the future,” said DSO Assistant Principal Cello and Orchestra Committee Chair Abe Feder in a press release.

For ticket information for the Jan. 12 performance, go to dso.org.