The New York Philharmonic announced Tuesday that it’s canceling all of its scheduled shows through June 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time in the orchestra’s 178-year history that an entire season has been scrapped.

Back in June, the Philharmonic announced concerts through January 5, 2021 would not take place.

But like Broadway and the Metropolitan Opera, plans to reopen in the beginning of the new year were delayed due to the unlikelihood that large gatherings will be allowed in the near term. 

The pandemic has cost the organization millions of dollars and resulted in layoffs and salary cuts for remaining employees. 

“The cancellation of an entire New York Philharmonic season is not only unprecedented — it is devastating, both in its impact on the morale of musicians and audiences, and in its profound economic consequences,” said Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the Philharmonic. “We know there was no other choice, but we also know that music is most meaningful when shared with listeners in a common space.”

While the concert hall remains empty, the Philharmonic said it will continue its slate of digital programming. Virtual activities include pre-recorded performances by small, socially distanced ensembles of Philharmonic musicians in partner venues such as Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center and the Manhattan School of Music. 

To continue some in-person performances, the Philharmonic recently launched the “NY Phil Bandwagon,” an initiative that brings outdoor concerts to neighborhoods across the five boroughs.  

“This will not be a silent season, and we eagerly anticipate September 2021, when the entire orchestra can reunite with our audience. We cannot wait for that first downbeat,” said Borda.

The Philharmonic's 2021–22 season will be announced in the spring of 2021.