Live, in-person concerts began to resume this fall, as declining COVID-19 infection rates and the growing acceptance of precautionary measures such as vaccine and mask mandates meant that the orchestra scene could start to get back to sort-of normal. In early December, a new coronavirus variant, Omicron—fast-spreading though apparently less lethal—emerged and quickly went global. By late December, sharp spikes in COVID infections caused orchestras, concert halls, and performing arts centers to announce postponements, cancellations, and artist substitutions. The information in this issue of Symphony is correct as of press time, but the pandemic continues to evolve, with new developments and scientific findings that affect orchestras and their audiences virtually every day.

The League of American Orchestras’ website,, offers resources concerning the COVID-19 guidance that federal agencies have prepared for employers, community-based organizations, and hosts of large gatherings. Some resources are in the form of recommendations, while others are mandatory rules. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have issued details of the legal requirements for employers throughout the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issue guidance to help businesses and employers contain the spread of the coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains updated guidance on mass gatherings, situation reports, and global research. Learn more at