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Knoxville Symphony Orchestra postpones upcoming season until February 2021

August 24, 2020

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra has announced that the 2020-21 season start will be postponed until 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Concerts previously scheduled for the remainder of 2020 have been canceled out of concern for the health and safety of patrons, musicians and staff.

All Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) musicians will be furloughed beginning Aug. 31 and will remain so through Jan. 31, 2021. The orchestra also will furlough most of its administrative staff starting Sept. 14.

The Symphony’s management team and board of directors made the decision after weeks of review, including guidelines from public health officials, survey responses from KSO patrons and industry best practices.

“This was a heart-wrenching decision,” KSO Executive Director Rachel Ford said. “We know how many people enjoy and support the Symphony and what music and the arts mean to our community. This is the viable path forward that will allow the KSO to prioritize the health and safety of staff, musicians and audiences while ensuring that the Symphony survives in the short term in our community.

“Continuing forward with our current costs and substantially reduced revenues is not financially feasible. This decision will allow us to sustain the KSO over the long term and not allow a pandemic to bring an end to our region’s longest continuously performing orchestra.”

The cancellations cover 24 performances of the KSO’s multiple concert series as well as educational and community outreach programs. Some educational concerts will be postponed to 2021.

Ticket holders will have the option to donate the value of canceled concerts to help support the Symphony or request a refund. For ticket assistance, visit the KSO’s website to access an online form or email [email protected].

“We are incredibly grateful to any patrons who consider donating the cost of their tickets to help sustain the orchestra during this time,” Ford said. “Please know that every dollar will ensure that we come out of this pandemic in a position to continue our mission to bring excellent live music to East Tennessee audiences of all ages.”

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About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Led by Music Director Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 300 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, and Civic Auditorium, as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks, and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please visit or call 865-291-3310.