Dallas Symphony Orchestra cancels European tour

Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has cancelled its European tour due to security concerns. The orchestra has acted on the advice of national and international security experts following the attacks in Paris last November.

DSO explained the decision with this statement: ‘After careful deliberation, we believe that there is an elevated risk to the safety of our musicians and their families, guest artists, DSO personnel and travelling patrons, and therefore will not be proceeding with the tour at this time.’

The orchestra was to play in Edinburgh, Birmingham, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Basel, Vienna and Madrid. The now-cancelled programmes included Wagner’s Die Walküre, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, with DSO’s internationally acclaimed music director Jaap van Zweden conducting.

In an interview with The Independent, DSO president and chief executive Jonathan Martin said: ‘Our concern about elevated risk is not about any specific city on the tour itself but the fact that we will be travelling with a party of approximately 150 people including the musicians, their families, guest artists, DSO personnel and travelling patrons.’

Zweden added that, ‘As an individual, I continue to travel around the world for my various conducting engagements. However, I respect the decision that has been made, as the safety of our DSO musicians and our extended touring group is primary.’

A number of European governments, including those of Spain, France and UK, rate the current risk of a terrorism attack as high. DSO has not announced any plans to reschedule the tour.