Sydney Symphony Orchestra has followed suit with all other major performing arts organisations and cancelled or postponed all performances for the next 30 days due to the coronavirus emergency.

In a statement, the ensemble said it planned to recommence public performances on April 15.

Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles was to have conducted Beethoven's Missa Solemnis this week.

Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles was to have conducted Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis this week.

“In our 88-year history, we cannot remember a time when the Sydney Symphony has had to fall silent,” said the statement. “We stand in solidarity with our sister organisations around the nation – all Australia’s stages and theatres will be dark for many weeks.

“We are heartbroken that we can’t perform for you publicly – especially at a time when we all need the power of music.”

The cancellations come at a challenging time in the orchestra’s history. Most of its recent performances have taken place in Sydney Town Hall while the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House is refurbished. The work is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.

In common with other performing arts organisations, the SSO has pleaded with ticket holders not to seek refunds but instead to accept a credit or reschedule for a performance later in the year.

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