HANCOCK — The Monteux School & Music Festival’s board of directors has made the difficult, unanimous decision to cancel the 2020 summer season. This decision comes on the heels of Governor Janet Mills’ extension of the state of civil emergency to May 15.
Marc Thayer, executive director of MSMF, stated, “On behalf of the Monteux School & Music Festival Board and myself, we are deeply saddened to announce the cancellation of our 77th season. The world, particularly the United States, is in an unprecedented time of uncertainty, and this decision is the appropriate and necessary step, to do our part to protect the health and well-being of our audiences, musicians, employees, and the Maine community, from the spread of COVID-19.”
“We were optimistic that we would be able to open and move forward with our planned 2020 summer season and have been monitoring the COVID-19 crisis carefully since late February,” Thayer said in an April 20 press release. “However, based upon Governor Mills’ recent decision and reports and statements from the CDC and the World Health Organization this week, along with the unpredictability of travel, we have made this disappointing decision.”
Thayer said the cancellation is in keeping with the Monteux School & Festival’s mission to continue to teach young musicians, help them to hone their skills, and inspire audiences and artists for generations to come.
“Of the utmost disappointment is the cancellation of our festivities to celebrate Music Director Michael Jinbo’s 25th anniversary season,” Thayer continued. “We hope to celebrate his tenure next season in person and will do some special things via social media in the meanwhile.”
In coming days, Thayer said he, Jinbo and the board will determine what resources and musical opportunities will be offered online for the students and audiences. Plans will be announced once they are firmed up.
Founded in 1943 by French-born conductor Pierre Monteux, the Monteux School & Festival is located in eastern Hancock County at the head of Frenchman Bay near Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor.
For more info, visit monteuxmusic.org.