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Boston Symphony Orchestra to resume in-person performances

BOSTON — In a move that will surely strike a chord with music fans, the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Friday announced plans to reopen Symphony Hall and resume in-person performances for a complete season starting in September.

The BSO will open the 2021-2022 season on Sept. 30 — after an 18-month live-audience performance hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic — with Music Director Andris Nelsons sharing the podium with Boston Pops Conductor Laureate John Williams for a program featuring soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter.

The program will feature Beethoven’s Consecration of the House Overture, the work that opened the orchestra’s inaugural concert in 1881. The reopening concert will also feature the Boston premiere of a new work by Williams — Violin Concerto No. 2 — and Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra.

The season that runs until next April also features a new cycle of six major works by Richard Strauss; a performance cycle of five Beethoven concertos with soloist Mitsuko Uchida; orchestra works of Berlioz, Brahms, Ives, Mahler, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Still, and Stravinsky; and world premieres by Julia Adolphe, HK Gruber, and Kaija Saariaho and American premieres by Unsuk Chin and Jorg Widmann.

To celebrate the reopening of Symphony Hall, the BSO will also present a free community concert on Oct. 3 featuring Nelsons, Williams, Keith Lockhart and Thomas Wilkins.

The orchestra is currently in the process of completing updates to Symphony Hall's air filtration and ventilation system to meet or exceed standards recommended by healthy building experts.

Although the BSO will not require masks, social distancing, or proof of vaccination for the upcoming season, there will be no intermissions for the first seven weeks as a precautionary measure.

Masks and distancing are still recommended for unvaccinated patrons, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The BSO will also continue to monitor health conditions and make changes to procedures if necessary.

Subscription renewals for the new season go on sale July 19 and single tickets go on sale on Aug. 30.

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