Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival suspends subscription sales for the 2020/21 Season

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Cambridge, MA – The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is suspending subscription sales for its 2020/21 Season, effective immediately. While BEMF still hopes to share some or all of the previously announced nine programs planned for the upcoming season, there is simply too much uncertainty caused by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic to continue selling subscription packages at this time.

“After consulting with the BEMF Directorial Team, Staff, and Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, I have made the difficult decision to suspend our 2020/21 Boston Early Music Festival Season subscription campaign,” says BEMF Executive Director Kathleen Fay. “We are not prepared to cancel the season at this time, but with increased uncertainty about the safety and feasibility of essential concert venues, we cannot, in good faith, continue to sell ticket packages to BEMF subscribers and fans for events we are not confident can take place.”

BEMF is exploring a number of options moving forward, including working closely with our venues in Boston and Cambridge to determine appropriate safety procedures for each location. BEMF is also in touch with our treasured artists to ensure their comfort with any plans that emerge. This is a developing situation, and whatever form the 2020/21 Season takes, BEMF is committed to doing everything possible to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our audience, artists, and staff, and will follow all applicable CDC recommendations and any regulations from state and local officials. BEMF Staff will be contacting patrons who have already purchased a subscription package to our 2020/21 Season to discuss their options.

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY Award-winning and four GRAMMY Award-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

The Boston Early Music Festival is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Constellation Charitable Foundation, and WGBH Radio Boston, as well as a number of generous foundations and individuals from around the world.

For more information, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email