Live Music Returns

Wednesday • April 7, 2021

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) returns to live music performances with 14 concerts on the New Haven waterfront between May 21 and July 4. These concerts will feature musicians from the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and guest artists performing in small, socially-distanced ensembles outdoors at the Canal Dock Boathouse on Long Wharf Drive in New Haven. Tickets to the series will be available for purchase beginning Monday, April 19 at noon.

Although unable to perform traditional concerts this past year, NHSO musicians have continued working with students through the Symphony’s robust education programs. Facing shuttered venues and an outpouring of need from overtaxed music teachers, the Symphony transformed its programs to meet students’ needs virtually. These virtual offerings – from over 200 Zoom coachings to podcasts to online learning hubs – have been used by more than 16,000 students across six continents since the pandemic began.

The Concerts at the Canal Dock Boathouse will mark the first stage of the Symphony’s return to live performances. Music Director Alasdair Neale, who will host the series, says, “Words cannot express what it will mean for us to be able to play music together again. We are hopeful that this series signals that our darkest days are behind us, as well as expresses gratitude for the support and generosity of our audience and community this past year.

“The music that we are offering is truly an expression of what makes our city so exceptional, highlighting the immense talent of our orchestra roster as well as the depth of artistry throughout our community. We believe that the combination of this unique setting and programming will be unlike anything audiences have experienced before.”

The concerts will include music by Antonin Vivaldi, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Felix Mendelssohn, Florence Price, Franz Schubert, Gioachino Rossini, Jennifer Higdon, Jessie Montgomery, John Philip Sousa, Jonathan Moore, Leonard Bernstein, Margaret Bonds, Philip Glass, Rafael Hernández Marín, and Scott Joplin. Performing side by side with NHSO musicians will be Connecticut artists including tenor Charles Widmer, electric cellist Jonathan Moore, steel pan virtuoso Kenneth Joseph, soprano Lisa Williamson, and dancer/choreographer Tavon Dudley, as well as local poets. A full list of concert programs and performers will be posted at

NHSO CEO Elaine C. Carroll says, “Following the success of our two performances at the Canal Dock Boathouse this past Fall, we realized that this waterfront venue provides an opportunity to perform live music while keeping our musicians and audience members safe. We are so grateful to the City of New Haven for supporting the Symphony as we activate this venue with concerts any resident will enjoy. We hope that our cherished subscribers, as well as folks who are new to the Symphony, will find delight in experiencing live music at this inspiring setting.”

The NHSO will be enforcing health and safety guidelines at the Concerts at Canal Dock Boathouse per recommendations by the CDC and State of Connecticut. All attendees will be required to wear masks and to follow social distancing guidelines. Health and safety expectations and requirements will be posted at and at every event. Tickets to the performance are $25, and free for kids under 18 with the purchase of an adult ticket. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning April 19 at noon at or by calling (203) 787-4282.

The concert series at the Canal Dock Boathouse is not the only opportunity to hear the Symphony this Spring. NHSO musicians will play small pop-up performances in the display window of 900 Chapel Street, located directly across from the New Haven Green. While not a traditional concert, the music – piped live through speakers outside the building – will be enjoyed by pedestrians, passersby, and those waiting at the nearby bus stop. The first storefront music session occurred on March 26 with NHSO bassist Christopher Johnson. Additional times and dates will be shared ongoing on NHSO social media.

The Concerts at Canal Dock Boathouse series media sponsor is the New Haven Register. Access to the Canal Dock Boathouse is provided by the City of New Haven.

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