The Des Moines Symphony announced that the remainder of its 2020-2021 season will be converted to livestreamed concerts.
The Des Moines Symphony considers the health and well-being of its audiences, musicians, and staff to be its top priority. Amid increasing concerns regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the Symphony has come to the conclusion that it cannot reliably ensure the safety of its audiences or its musicians onstage in order to perform the in-person concerts scheduled through May 2021.
In place of its planned New Year’s Eve Pops Concert, the Symphony will host A Virtual New Year’s Eve Celebration on Thursday, December 31. This online gala fundraiser features appearances and performances from guest artists across the country including Leslie Odom, Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Christiane Noll, Spectrum, and many more. The performance will be free to enjoy on the Symphony’s website and YouTube channel; those interested in supporting the Symphony can choose from three levels of event participation including musician meet-and-greets, dinner packages, and more.
The Symphony’s five spring Masterworks concerts, originally scheduled from January-May 2021 in the Civic Center, will be converted to livestreamed concerts broadcast as part of its Live from the Temple series. These online concert broadcasts, featuring a reduced-size orchestra spaced appropriately to ensure musician safety, include special interviews and behind-the-scenes footage along with a live Q&A session with Maestro Joseph Giunta. Each broadcast is available to ticketholders for on-demand viewing for 30 days following the initial livestream.
Each of the concerts in this series will be broadcast live from the Temple for Performing Arts and will be preceded by a full week of online programming including classes, virtual social events, prelude talks, and more. Season ticket holders will receive free access to each of the livestreamed concerts as well as admission to additional events based on their subscription level. Individual streaming passes for each concert and optional pre-concert meals for pickup from local restaurant partners are available for purchase on the Symphony’s website.
Ticketholders for New Year’s Eve Pops 2020 will automatically receive tickets to next year’s event, while those with tickets for in-person Masterworks concerts in the spring will receive access to the corresponding Live from the Temple concerts. Audience members may also donate their tickets back to the Symphony or request a refund by contacting email@example.com.
The Symphony’s spring Live from the Temple concerts will feature innovative programming, diverse composers, and the Symphony’s own musicians as guest artists. “Performing in a different space and configuration is a unique challenge, but also a wonderful opportunity,” said Maestro Joseph Giunta. “The works I’ve chosen are written for groups of five to thirty-five musicians in a wide range and variety of styles and time periods. I wanted to include outstanding pieces by diverse and underrepresented composers alongside familiar works, and I wanted to feature some of our own outstanding musicians as soloists.”
The Symphony’s spring concert series begins in January with a program spanning a century of dance music, from Stravinsky to Joplin. In February, the Orchestra performs living American composer Jessie Montgomery’s multicultural tribute to “The Star-Spangled Banner;” its March concert heralds the arrival of spring through the lyrical melodies of Strauss, Mozart, and more. In April, an all-brass program features an exhilarating evening of thrilling fanfares and solemn chorales. The Symphony’s season finale in May features Principal Flute James Blanchard as soloist in a program featuring Martines, Gluck, Faure, and Still.
Each concert in the series is now available for purchase online at dmsymphony.org. In addition, the Symphony will continue community outreach efforts aimed at providing concert access to area nonprofit organizations, as well as free streaming passes for teachers and healthcare workers. More information on those partnerships can be found at dmsymphony.org/community.