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BSO Announces Layoffs, Citing Financial Losses Due To Pandemic

Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Andris Nelsons. (Courtesy Marco Borggreve/BSO)
Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Andris Nelsons. (Courtesy Marco Borggreve/BSO)

The Boston Symphony Orchestra announced Friday it would lay off 50 of its 180 administrative staff, effective Sept. 1. The layoffs affect every administrative department. The organization also plans to furlough eight full-time staff at various points from September to December. Thirty additional positions have been left unfilled.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made some difficult decisions about reducing the organization’s workforce during this unprecedented time of concert cancellations and revenue loss associated with COVID-19,” BSO president and CEO Mark Volpe said in a press release.

The BSO cited $35 million in lost revenue as the reason for the layoffs and furloughs. The orchestra began canceling performances in March amid concerns about coronavirus spread. According to the press release, the organization has so far canceled 316 performances and events, including the entire Boston Pops and Tanglewood 2020 seasons and the fall portion of the BSO 2020 season. It has not announced a reopening date.

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Amelia Mason Twitter Arts And Culture Reporter
Amelia Mason is an arts and culture reporter and critic for The ARTery, WBUR's arts and culture team. She covers everything from fine art to television to the inner workings of the Boston music scene.

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