The New York Philharmonic at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

In Tuesday’s (3/12) New York Times, several journalists report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on audience attendance at the performing arts and sports. In the section on orchestras and opera, Javier C. Hernández writes, “Many orchestras are beginning to return to, or even exceed, prepandemic levels. The number of tickets that orchestras sold increased by 2 percent in 2023 compared with 2019, according to a study of 42 medium- and large-sized orchestras by TRG Arts, an analytics firm, in partnership with the League of American Orchestras. Some continue to struggle, though, and some are giving fewer performances than they used to. The Philadelphia Orchestra is averaging 78 percent attendance so far this season, compared with 63 percent before the pandemic. The New York Philharmonic … is averaging 85 percent attendance this season compared with 74 percent before the pandemic. The San Francisco Symphony has had 74 percent attendance so far this season, slightly ahead of where it was before the shutdown, but it has fewer performances. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is now averaging 89 percent attendance, back where it was before the pandemic, even as the number of subscribers has fallen … The Detroit Symphony Orchestra said that its attendance had fallen to 59 percent through March this season, down from 74 percent in the same period during the 2019-20 season.”