LA Philharmonic cancels rest of season; Hollywood Bowl prospects still uncertain

Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Philharmonic canceled the remainder of its 2019-20 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Wednesday, announcing layoffs and pay cuts as part of a money-saving response to its extended coronavirus-related closure.

The L.A. Phil's music and artistic director, Gustavo Dudamel, will take no compensation during the cancellation period, the orchestra said. Payroll reductions of 35% in the aggregate will include the layoffs of part-time staff and pay cuts of more than 35% for the leadership team, the orchestra said. Orchestra members will receive 65% of their weekly minimum scale beginning April 12. All full-time orchestra members and administrative staff will retain their health benefits.

The news comes almost a month after the L.A. Phil canceled concerts through May 10 and as coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County passed 7,500 and deaths neared 200. The orchestra emphasized it had kept all wages in place since the initial closure of Disney Hall on March 12, but that it was moving now to ensure the long-term financial health of the organization.

The fate of the summer season of the Hollywood Bowl, which the L.A. Phil manages, remains up in the air, Chief Executive Chad Smith said in the announcement. A core group of teaching artists and support staff will continue the work of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, with instruction conducted remotely, the orchestra said.

The L.A. Phil announcement follows the March 30 move by fellow Music Center resident company Center Theatre Group, which suspended all shows through summer and furloughed about half of its staff.


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