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San Diego Symphony Cancels 2020 Season, Pushes Opening of The Shell to 2021

Artist rendering of the new bandshell to be built at the Embarcadero
Port of San Diego
Artist rendering of the new bandshell to be built at the Embarcadero

The San Diego Symphony announced Thursday it is canceling its summer season and pushing back the July 10 opening of its $45 million outdoor concert venue "The Shell" to the summer of 2021.

The decision to postpone the opening of the long-awaited shell was made in light of ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

"Not being able to fulfill the dreams of so many people and celebrate the inaugural season at The Shell as planned this summer is devastating," said Martha Gilmer, San Diego Symphony's CEO.


"As the construction of The Shell continues, its visible progress on our skyline provides us with a symbol of forward momentum and hope," she said. "When the San Diego Symphony Orchestra performs the first concerts at The Shell, I know that the music will mean more to all of us than ever before. We cannot wait for that happy occasion."

The symphony is working to extend invitations to many of the artists scheduled for 2020 to now perform the following summer.

"Even though it makes me sad that we have to postpone the opening of The Shell, I'm really looking forward to when the time is right and we can be together again," said Rafael Payare, the symphony's music director. "The Shell, with its amazing location in the beautiful city of San Diego and its magical surroundings, is going to be such a fantastic venue and I can't wait to make music there."

The San Diego Symphony, founded in 1910, is the oldest orchestra in California.