The Jolla Music Society canceled its SummerFest concert on August 17, as part of its annual three-week chamber music celebration, after one of its star musicians tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus despite his full vaccination .
Alisa Weilerstein, world-renowned cellist and wife of San Diego Symphony conductor Rafael Payare, performed at a SummerFest concert at 3 p.m. on August 15 – her sixth and final concert of this year’s edition .
She informed the La Jolla Music Society of her positive test result on the night of August 16. This sparked a series of changes and decisions that affect the company and its plans for the rest of the week.
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Weilerstein was next scheduled to perform on Thursday August 19 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. She was not listed on the The Hollywood Bowl site the morning of August 18.
The Jolla Music Society began extensive testing of all of its staff, stage crew and musicians on August 17. The results of these tests, which should be available on August 18, will determine how SummerFest proceeds with its final concerts in 2021. August 18-20.
“Due to Alisa’s positive test, we administer 100% COVID tests to our staff and crew,” said Company President and CEO Todd Schultz. The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Sameday Health was administering the tests.
“Our hope is that Alisa is an isolated case,” Schultz said. “If all the tests are negative, we will know this is an isolated case and we can proceed to SummerFest. If they don’t come back negative, then we’ll have to regroup.
Weilerstein, who lives in San Diego with her husband and daughter, was unavailable for comment.
The company revealed the 39-year-old cellist’s coronavirus status in an email it sent to ticket holders on the afternoon of August 17, announcing that the SummerFest concert that night had been canceled. ” out of prudence “.
The email read, in part: “Last night [Aug. 16] we’ve learned that one of our SummerFest musicians – cellist Alisa Weilerstein – has tested positive for COVID. She has already been vaccinated and her symptoms are very mild, for which we are grateful. We also understand that his family has tested negative, as has our [SummerFest] musical director and her close collaborator Inon Barnatan.
“To make sure this is an isolated case among our LJMS artists, we are currently administering COVID tests to every musician, staff member and stagehand, as well as many host artists and board members. administration. The first antigen tests came back negative and the results of the PCR tests will arrive tomorrow morning [Aug. 18]. As a precaution, while awaiting the results of the PCR tests, we have chosen to cancel tonight’s performance.
Schultz pointed out that the company has rigorously followed all state and county health guidelines during the pandemic, which saw the 2020 edition of SummerFest transformed into a fully online event. If all goes well, he said, the company will try to postpone the canceled August 17 concert to a daytime performance later this week. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.
– La Jolla Light staff contributed to this report. ??