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COVID-19 fallout: ISO cancels all summer performances

Includes popular Symphony on the Prairie
Kroger Symphony on the Prairie.JPG
Posted at 3:25 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 23:00:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra calls it a "difficult decision." All ISO concerts, including the popular Kroger Symphony on the Prairie at Conner Prairie, are canceled through September 17.

Besides the concerts at Conner Prairie, the cancellation includes the last three Hilbert Circle Theatre concerts of the 2019-20 Lilly Classical Series and Printing Partners Pops Series, the Fifth Third Bank Lunch Break Series, and all other special performances.

“Our team has worked tirelessly throughout the year to plan a summer filled with engaging orchestral programs and vibrant touring acts,” said CEO James Johnson. “It is disappointing that we won’t be able to share these experiences with our community this year, but the safety of our musicians, staff, and patrons comes before all else.”

The top problem, of course, is social distancing and crowd size regulations. The ISO believes it will be several months before musicians and concert-goers can safely gather for concerts in reasonable numbers.

"Even if concert restrictions are lifted mid-summer in the state’s reopening plan, the remaining guidelines combined with the infrastructure required for producing Symphony on the Prairie is so complex that presenting a partial season is not financially feasible," said ISO spokesperson Kristin Cutler.

Concerts and series included in the cancellation are:

  • Five Beethoven Concertos. Two Pianists. One Weekend. – May 28-31
  • Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis – June 5-6
  • Mandy Gonzalez with the ISO – June 12-13
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Concert – June 27
  • Disney in Concert: Beauty and the Beast – July 17-18
  • All Kroger Symphony on the Prairie performances
  • All Fifth Third Bank Lunch Break Series performances

People who already have tickets for cancelled performances have several options, including:

  • Ticket donation: The ISO is encouraging tax-deductible donations of the ticket value.
  • Exchange: Hilbert Circle Theatre ticket buyers may exchange tickets for a gift certificate to be used for a future ISO ticket purchase or apply the value toward a subscription for the 2021 season.
  • Value Pack Voucher Exchange: Symphony on the Prairie Value Pack holders may exchange their current Value Pack for 10 ticket vouchers to the 2021 40th season of Symphony on the Prairie performances.
  • Value Pack Gift Certificate: Symphony on the Prairie Value Pack holders may exchange their current Value Pack for a gift certificate, which can be applied to any ISO performances through August 31, 2021.

Ticket holders may email the ISO box office at by August 1, 2020, to determine their preferred action and assist with any other ticketing needs.

Cutler said the ISO is already working with many of the artists scheduled for summer 2020 to return next year.

The 2020–21 Hilbert Circle Theatre subscription series is still planned to take place as scheduled, with concerts beginning September 18.