Symphony: Spring 2020

Read the Spring Issue of Symphony on your laptop, your desktop, your phone, your tablet—for free!

Check out the latest issue of Symphony, the League of American Orchestras’ award-winning magazine, online and in print—with all the great articles, news, interviews, and photos you’ve come to expect.

Want to read Symphony in print? Subscribe here — or join the League of American Orchestras and get a year’s subscription to Symphony, along with many other membership benefits. 

Note: This issue of Symphony arrives somewhat later than planned. Our apologies for that. As the scale of the pandemic emerged, it became clear that fulfilling our mandate to provide accurate coverage of its impact on orchestras required new articles, new analysis, new resources, new information. Similarly, information about performances, festivals, and premieres in this issue was accurate at press time. However, the global pandemic is causing postponements and cancellations. Check each organization’s website and social media for the most current information.

Full Magazine


Read the whole issue online via Issuu. Or read individual PDFs of the articles below. Both versions include links to websites mentioned in the articles as well as to advertisers.









Individual Articles, Features, and More

Click below to read, print, or download shareable PDFs of each article in this issue, with links to websites in the articles as well as to advertisers.


scoreThe Score

News and updates from orchestras everywhere. In this issue: orchestras confront coronavirus; Simon Woods named League of American Orchestras’ next president and CEO; progress at National Alliance for Audition Support; awards and honors for the orchestra field. Plus: Essential resources and assistance to orchestras from the League during the pandemic. 


Critical Questions 

What role should nonprofits play in today’s rapidly evolving society? League President and CEO Jesse Rosen and Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discuss how nonprofits and their boards are adapting to new expectations about transparency, ethics, and community engagement. 


Music in the Time of a Pandemic

Music in the Time of a Pandemic

In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic and shut-down that expand daily, orchestras and musicians are keeping the music going by embracing a new digital normal.  



Up Close, Far Away

With large-group gatherings banned and concert halls closed due to the novel coronavirus this spring, orchestras performed their concerts to empty halls—the audiences were online. A report on the new experience of watching orchestras perform live for virtual audiences. 



Can You Hear Her Now?

This August will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote—and orchestras are responding with commissions of music by women composers this season and next. A century after the passage of the Amendment, the right to vote is more timely than ever.  


summersoundsNew Sounds for Summer

Summer music festivals often venture beyond beloved blockbusters to explore new music. These range from deep-dive events that focus exclusively on new music to festivals that commission, perform, and spotlight contemporary scores in the context of the canon—lending new perspectives to both.  



Summer Festivals 2020 

A classical guide to what’s on this summer, featuring League of American Orchestras business partners. 



unheardRe: “Unheard Voices” Cover Story 

Reactions to Symphony’s Winter 2020 cover article, which examined the longstanding underrepresentation of Black composers in the orchestral canon; reported on the recent increase in performances of music by Black composers; and asked whether orchestras’ new interest in Black composers signifies a lasting commitment.  




Eco-Friendly Orchestras

At a time of climate change, the environment and sustainability practices are growing concerns for the classical music field. How are American orchestras addressing their environmental impact, and what kinds of sustainability efforts go beyond the call of duty?


annualfundLeague of American Orchestras Annual Fund







Coda: Homes Away from Home

Singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane is spending increasing time writing and performing music with orchestras, with a string of commissions on timely topics. 





Happy reading! Look for the next issue of Symphony in Summer 2020.

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