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Donald Runnicles conducts the ASO.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra spent most of last season playing before an empty Symphony Hall and streaming the concerts. After four months of in-person shows, the orchestra will return to virtual for its next two concerts.

Breaking news: Covid sends the ASO back to virtual for its next two concerts

With the Omicron variant sending Covid cases soaring well past record levels over the past week, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is pivoting to virtual concerts for its next two performances.

The January 13 and 15 concerts — featuring guest pianist Stephen Hough playing Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 4 with guest conductor Kazuki Yamada — will now be performed at Symphony Hall with no audience and filmed. The concert will be available to view February 4 on the ASO website as part of the Behind The Curtain Series.

It will be the same for the January 20 and 22 concerts that will feature guest guitarist Miloš Karadaglić performing the U.S. premiere of Joby Talbot’s “Ink Dark Moon” under the baton of guest conductor Gemma New. Those performances will also be available to stream on February 4. 

Ticket holders have the option to trade for admission to a future concert, donate the unused ticket, receive a full refund or receive a credit for a performance next season. 

In addition, the scheduled January 14 pop rock concert with Phillip Phillips and Jon Foreman has been canceled. All tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase.

Other Symphony Hall concerts this month — including the ASO’s January 29-30 performance and the Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band on January 23 — are, for the time being, still scheduled to take place.

According to figures in The New York Times, the number of Covid cases has risen 254 percent nationally over the past 14 days, and 478 percent in Georgia. The state has a daily average of 17,921 cases and 3,813 hospitalizations. Officials have said the unvaccinated overwhelmingly comprise most of the hospitalizations.

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