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Dear Friend,
All of us at Orchestra of St. Luke’s are thinking of you and your loved ones during this challenging time. Though OSL concert activity is suspended, and The DiMenna Center for Classical Music is temporarily closed, we are hard at work every day to fulfill our mission of creating connection and meaning through the beauty of music. 

Current conditions have caused us to cancel the 2020 OSL Bach Festival (June 9- 30), which we have reconceived as a curated online series called: Bach at Home 2020. People turn to Bach’s music for comfort and solace, insight and inspiration. In this spirit, Bach at Home will provide an online musical experience tailored to our time. Music has the power to connect people across physical distance. We hope this musical offering will do just that.

Participating artists in the Bach at Home series include our beloved Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie, OSL musicians, and all the guest artists from the 2020 OSL Bach Festival.  Programming will include new Bach videos that were filmed with our musicians over the past year and have never been seen, new videos from guest artists and our musicians filmed at their homes, a curated selection of existing videos featuring our artists performing Bach, and will be rounded out with artists talks and conversations conducted online. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Due to over twenty concert cancellations and the temporary closure of The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, OSL projects a revenue shortfall this fiscal year of $1,250,000 and has recently sustained losses in its endowment value of approximately 15%.  OSL board, musicians and staff are united by our commitment to deliver our mission now and into the future. Our community of audience members, students, partners, donors, and funders are behind us. Here is part of what we are doing:

  • Reaching audiences through online programming.
  • Teaching our youth orchestra students through distance learning.
  • Easing the financial hardship on our musicians as concert halls close and concerts are cancelled.
  • Maintaining the DiMenna Center so musicians can create, record, and broadcast post-crisis.

Integral to our plan is the newly established OSL Relief Fund, which will help sustain the work necessary to respond to this crisis, help ease the financial burden on our musicians, and prepare us to relaunch our mission. We know many people have been personally affected by this crisis, but if you are able to make a contribution in any size, it will make a difference and we would be so grateful. For more information, please visit

When the musicians of Orchestra of St. Luke’s perform together, they become the embodiment of community, trust, and care. We share these values and rely on them now.
Thank you for being part of the OSL community. We will keep you updated with further developments. Please stay safe and stay in touch.
Yours truly,
James Roe
President & Executive Director of Orchestra of St. Luke’s

PS --- In my neighborhood on West End Avenue—and many others around the city and world—people lean out of their windows at 7:00 PM to thank doctors, nurses, and medical workers by clapping, shouting, banging pots and pans, and blowing horns. I look forward to this moment each day. As I play my part in this raucous din, I witness people bridge the distance between them through the creation of sound, in the moment and with each other. That is music to my ears.

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