Jolla Music Society cancels SummerFest concert after cello star Alisa Weilerstein tests positive for COVID

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The Jolla Music Society canceled its Tuesday night SummerFest concert, as part of its annual three-week chamber music celebration, after one of its star musicians tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

Alisa Weilerstein, world-renowned cellist and wife of San Diego Symphony Orchestra conductor Rafael Payare, performed on Sunday at 3 p.m. in a Summerfest concert – her sixth and final concert of the edition of This year. She was also scheduled to perform in the next festival finale on Friday, but withdrew after receiving her test result.

Weilerstein informed the La Jolla Music Society of his positive test result on Monday evening. This sparked a series of changes and decisions that affect the company and its plans for the rest of the week, as well as a concert Thursday at the Hollywood Bowl by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Weilerstein was next scheduled to perform at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Thursday, replacing Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández, who had to cancel due to visa issues. She was still listed on the Hollywood Bowl website at 7 a.m. Wednesday. However, the site now lists Robert deMaine as cellist for the Thursday Bowl concert.

The Jolla Music Society began extensive testing on Tuesday afternoon on all of its staff, stage crew and musicians. The results of those tests, which will be available Wednesday, will determine how SummerFest proceeds with its final 2021 concerts Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

“Due to Alisa’s positive test, we are administering 100% COVID tests to our staff and crew,” CEO and Company Chairman Todd Schultz told the Union-Tribune on Tuesday afternoon.

Sameday Health is administering the tests.

“These test results will come back on Wednesday morning, and we hope Alisa is an isolated case,” Schultz said. “If all the tests are negative, we will know that this is an isolated case and we can proceed to SummerFest. If they don’t come back negative, then we have to regroup.

On Wednesday afternoon, the company announced that test results have all come back negative and that the final three days of this year’s SummerFest will go as planned.

Weilerstein, who lives in San Diego with her husband and daughter, posted a statement on social media Wednesday morning:

“Well, I’ve officially joined the club that nobody wants to join. On Monday evening, I tested positive with a groundbreaking case of COVID-19. Fortunately (and because of the vaccine) I have very mild symptoms and my family has all tested negative. I continue to follow CDC protocol and isolate myself at home. Of course, that means that unfortunately I will not be able to perform with my dear friends, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, Maria Dueñas and Sergio Tiempo at the Hollywood Bowl, nor for the closing concert of La Jolla SummerFest. However, health and safety should always come first, and I look forward to seeing everyone again very soon. In the meantime, stay safe and well there! “

The Jolla Music Society canceled its SummerFest concert Tuesday night “out of caution”.

(Photo by Darren Bradley)

The company revealed the 39-year-old cellist’s COVID status in an email it sent late Tuesday afternoon to ticket holders, announcing that Tuesday night’s SummerFest concert had been canceled “out of caution.” .

The email reads in part: “Last night we 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 have our Music Director (SummerFest) and close associate 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 antigenic tests came back negative and the results of the PCR tests will arrive tomorrow morning. 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 Tuesday night’s canceled concert to a daytime performance later this week. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.

Weilerstein performed alongside Payare and the San Diego Symphony at The Rady Shell’s August 6 opening gala concert at Jacobs Park, the orchestra’s new $ 85 million outdoor concert venue. . Payare is not expected to perform there again until October. Weilerstein’s next scheduled concert is September 13 in London, according to its website.


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