CEO Statement – Coronavirus update
Thank you to our Radio Rewrite audience, at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Monday 16 March, for making it to our concert and supporting our musicians on the last day before social distancing measures were introduced. At the end of our rehearsal, an hour before doors opened, we took the decision to go ahead with the performance with the unanimous support of our musicians and our colleagues at Southbank Centre, knowing that it would be one of the last performances in the UK for a while.
We face uncertain times over the next few weeks and months. For the moment, we are suspending all public projects and performances taking place in the next few weeks until we have more details from government, our partners and venues. We are sorry to announce that 1920s Paris, the Crazy Years (28 April, Queen Elizabeth Hall) has been cancelled and that I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (20-23 May, Wilton’s Music Hall) has been postponed. More information will be sent to those who have already bought tickets for these events in the coming weeks – there is more information for ticket holders below.
It is particularly uncertain times for our musicians, and in fact all musicians and artists in London and across the UK. They are the lifeblood of this country’s cultural life and produce astonishing art every day. We’re relieved that Arts Council England and the Government are providing support for the cultural sector and its many freelance artists. We have also supported them by arranging for practical advice sessions with leading self-employment finance professionals, and through our Comfortable Classical at Home video series. We also ask all audiences that have booked tickets for any concerts, gigs and shows in the next few weeks – whether bought through us or elsewhere – to consider, if they can, donating their ticket price or more to help support musicians and artists in this difficult time.
To protect the health and wellbeing of our staff, the CLS office is now closed with all staff working from home, and some members of the team have been furloughed until such a time performances can recommence. Should you need to get in touch with me [Matthew], along with my colleagues Elaine, Emily, Fiona and Tasha, you can find contact details on the Executive Team page.
We hope to be making music with you all again in person very soon. In the meantime, stay safe and well, tune in to Comfortable Classical at Home, and we’ll send updates on future activity as and when we can.
- Matthew Swann, Chief Executive
Published 18 March | Updated 14 April
This page will be updated as we receive more information
'Worlds Colliding' London Season
We have suspended sales via the CLS Box Office for all events scheduled in our Spring Season.
As of 6 April, we are sorry to announce that our next 1920s Paris Worlds Colliding concert, due to take place on Tuesday 28 April at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall, has been cancelled. Please see 'Information for ticket holders' for more information.
As of 3 April, we are sorry to announce that I'm a Rock 'n' Roll Star, due to take place on 20-23 May at Wilton's Music Hall, has been postponed. Please see 'Information for ticket holders' for more information.
Our team is in regular contact with Southbank Centre, Wilton's Music Hall and our artists, and we are regularly reviewing the situation with them and in accordance with further government advice.
Please bear with us while we deal with these challenging consequences. We endeavour to send you updates on the status of your event(s) as and when we can.
Opera Holland Park 2020 Season
We were saddened, but not surprised, to learn this week that our friends at Opera Holland Park have taken the reluctant decision that their planned 2020 season will not take place. In speaking to our friends and colleagues there, we know that this has not been an easy decision, but was one taken with the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone involved at Opera Holland Park forefront of mind.
Opera Holland Park is a highlight of our year at City of London Sinfonia for both our musicians and audiences. We have some wonderful friends there, and we will miss the music-making, the camaraderie, and the sheer joy of performing opera in such beautiful settings.
We are heartened by Opera Holland Park’s hope that they will be able to perform the operas scheduled for their 2020 season at a later date and at alternative venues. We will work with them to make that possible in any way that we can.
This Season had promised to be one of their most exciting yet, and we hope to be back performing with them as soon as possible. We wish all their staff and artists the very best in these difficult and uncertain times.
- Matthew Swann, Chief Executive
CLS Friends reception and opera
As a result of the postponement of Opera Holland Park's 2020 Season, we have suspended sales for our OHP Friends reception (24 June). More information will be sent to those who have already bought tickets for this event in the coming weeks – please bear with us while we sort out this matter.
Information for ticket holders
As you can imagine, our team is very busy cancelling and rearranging many performances, supporter events and participation projects that were due to take place in the Spring/Summer Season. We appreciate your patience in this difficult time.
The following events have been postponed:
- 20-23 May: I'm a Rock 'n' Roll Star, Wilton's Music Hall
- 24 June: OHP Friends reception and opera, Opera Holland Park
The following events have been cancelled:
- 28 April: 1920s Paris, the Crazy Years, Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall
There are three options for ticket holders, which are listed below. Individuals have been contacted directly by email with further information on this process.
Consider donating your ticket fee
As a registered charity, all of our earnings from these events go straight back into creating musical experiences in communities, healthcare settings, schools and concert halls. If you can afford to do so, please consider donating your postponed ticket fee to our Orchestra. All donations in this time will help us to continue creating online content in lieu of public concerts, as well as ensuring that we are ready to go when venues are able to reopen.
Another option is for you to receive credit to your City of London Sinfonia account, which you can redeem for another of our own-promotion concerts once this crisis is over. Credit notes are valid for 12 months from the date of your original event.
If you would prefer to receive a refund, due to the number of events affected and to aid with managing our cash flow, your refund will be issued within 28 days of the day the event was scheduled to take place (28 days from the event date).
We have been in touch with ticket holders. Thank you for your patience and ongoing support in these challenging times.
City of London Sinfonia’s office will be closed during this period. We will therefore not be able to regularly pick up post and customers will not be able to contact our Box Office by phone. Ticket holders and supporters can contact us by emailing our Box Office using the details below, and our website and social media channels are still very much live.
Comfortable Classical at Home
On Thursday 26 March, we launched Comfortable Classical at Home on Facebook. Each Tuesday and Thursday, 11.30am, a City of London Sinfonia musician will present a short concert live from their homes. We hope our audiences − anyone and everyone, from young children to older adults − will find joy through classical music with our musicians in these difficult times.
Read more about our video series and find out who's performing on our Blog.
Go to blog >>
Head to our Facebook page at 11.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays to watch live.
Go to Facebook page >>
Watch past episodes on our Facebook video playlist.
View video playlist >>
How you can help CLS
We are currently facing uncertain times, with all performances and participation work for the Spring currently on hold, and this is particularly true for our musicians − the lifeblood of our organisation − as we are unsure when we will be able to resume performing and creating music with them and our audiences. If you are in a position to make a donation to CLS, this would be greatly appreciated to ensure that we are ready to go as soon as public performances and group gatherings are allowed.
We appreciate that the uncertainty reaches far beyond our organisation, and if this is not possible but you would like to support us, please do spread the word about CLS and our Comfortable Classical at Home concerts to anyone who may appreciate them.