Spokane Symphony postpones 'Eckart's Return' over COVID concerns

<p><p>Due to concerns surrounding the ongoing rise in COVID-19 cases, the Spokane Symphony has canceled this weekend’s “Masterworks 4: Eckart Returns” concerts featuring conductor laureate Eckart Preu.</p></p><p><p>Both concerts, originally scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, will be rescheduled.</p></p><p><p>“My hope is that this is … not the beginning of a broad wave of cancellations,” executive director Jeff vom Saal said. “Our first job is to do good in this community. We’ll continue to evaluate each event on its own, both in consideration of the musicians and the performers on stage and the best interest of our public.”</p></p><p><p>Following recommendations from Spokane Regional Health District Health Officer and Spokane Symphony board president Dr. Francisco Velázquez, the symphony hopes that postponing the concerts will “help mitigate the current surge of COVID-19 cases in our community.”</p></p><p><p>“We’re looking out for everybody,” vom Saal said. “Live music is here to stay. Maybe we can’t see it this weekend, but the symphony has a lot more great concerts this year. It will be not long until we’re back in the saddle again.”</p></p><p><p>“Masterworks 4” would have been Preu’s first officially scheduled return to conduct since ending his tenure as music director in May 2019. But when current Spokane Symphony music director James Lowe was forced to wait out a quarantine period at home in Scotland over the holidays, Preu, who still lives in Spokane, stepped in to conduct Beethoven 9 on New Year’s Eve.</p></p><p><p>“We’re looking at the dates now,” vom Saal said.</p></p><p><p>The concert may be rescheduled for later this season or early next season. New dates should be announced in the next few weeks.</p></p><p><p>The Fox Theater box office will reach out to current ticket holders once the new dates have been announced. Tickets for the original concert dates will be valid for the new dates. Once the new dates are announced, those unable to attend can request a refund, donate the value of their tickets to the symphony or convert the value of each ticket to credit for future performances.</p></p><p><p>For information, visit spokanesymphony.org or call the Box Office at (509) 624-1200.</p></p>