MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Orchestra is canceling all full-orchestra concerts through early September, but is beginning a process of bringing back smaller live concerts.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Orchestra announced that all full-orchestra concerts — slated for inside Orchestra Hall in August and early September — will not be happening because the events are not compliant with state guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The orchestra says, in their place, a phased return to live concerts will begin. This includes 24 chamber music — small ensemble concerts — occurring on Peavey Plaza next to Orchestra Hall.

“These concerts are offered as a complimentary thank-you for concertgoers who currently hold tickets to the cancelled August and early September full-Orchestra performances. Those concertgoers will be contacted directly with a full range of ticket/credit options for the cancelled concerts, as well as an invitation to attend the newly-added outdoor performances,” the orchestra said.

The limited capacity, physically distant concerts will feature up to eight Minnesota Orchestra musicians. The 70-minute chamber concerts are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, from August 4 through August 30. The total capacity will be up to 250 people. Face masks will be required.

“We’ve spent several weeks reformulating our August programming to showcase really wonderful small ensemble chamber music. New safety measures will be part of concertgoing now, but these will not diminish the music itself. We can’t wait to offer live musical performances again as a gesture of our thanks,” Silver Ainomäe, associate principal cello and chair of the Musicians’ Artistic Advisory Committee, said.

There will be a small number of complimentary tickets available to the public, using an online lottery. More information and a complete list of protocols can be found here.

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