The Soraya

Performance Updates A message to our community

An Update from The Soraya's Executive Director
Oct 2, 2020, at 11:00AM

"We at The Soraya remain committed to our community even if they can't be here in the lobby. And we at The Soraya, of course, remain committed to the value of music, dance, theater, and the arts in your hearts, and in your homes."

Fall 2020: the lights are dimmed, but the future remains bright
May 19, 2020, at 6:00AM

At this time, fall performances are suspended. For more information, please see this video from Executive Director Thor Steingraber.  

We do remain committed to 60-day readiness to re-open, and meanwhile, our team is hard at work creating new ways to stay engaged with you. This is not hibernation...this is innovation!  

A message from Executive Director Thor Steingraber
May 12, 2020, at 9:00PM

Announcements today from the CSU Chancellor and CSUN President have provided clarity about the upcoming fall semester, which will be conducted virtually, with only limited exceptions. I am grateful for their leadership in these challenging times, placing science, public health, and individual well-being at the forefront. Today’s announcement will impact The Soraya’s operations as well, but I am cautious about commenting until I can further confer and assess. In any case, the governor’s announcement last week, that large events and performances would fall in the final phase of re-opening, sets expectations for a long road ahead. “Readiness” is our key operational goal, and rest assured, we would like nothing more than having our renters, artists, students, and patrons back on stage and in the auditorium as soon as it is safe to do so. I expect to need a couple of days to formulate our precise plan, and hope to be able to share that early next week (on or around May 18). Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

Thor Steingraber
Executive Director

A message from Susanne Reyto, Noreen Green, and Thor Steingraber on Violins of Hope
March 23, 2020, at 1:30PM

Suspending Violins of Hope activities was heartbreaking for everyone who had come together around this extraordinary project — musicians, educators, philanthropists, elected officials, arts organizations, churches and synagogues, and the public at large. Our commitment to the principles of Violins of Hope compelled us to dedicate more than two years to prepare for this project.

The current circumstances with COVID-19 only magnify the importance of Violins of Hope. Headlines in the press and pronouncements from global leaders suggest that we have not faced a crisis this severe since World War II. In that chapter of history, as well as the current one, those violins have stood as witness to our collective strength and resiliency in the face of difficult circumstances, and when we emerge from COVID-19, those instruments will again be present to celebrate what is best in humankind. 

That is why we have been working to reschedule Violins of Hope. With the generous assistance of Avshalom Weinstein, we have identified a time period to bring the violins to Los Angeles. Along with our partner organizations, we will reschedule activities in January and February, 2021, with an Opening Night concert by Los Angeles Jewish Symphony at The Soraya on January 14, 2021. In consideration of the uncertainty we all face, we will wait to confirm the complete Violins of Hope schedule when we return to our daily lives after the COVID-19 crisis.

We are grateful for your patience and for your support. Most importantly, we hope that you are taking care of yourself.

The Soraya responds to the ongoing consequences of COVID-19 and offers a message of hope.
March 21, 2020, at 6PM

An update about Violins of Hope
March 13, 2020, at 7:30PM

With great disappointment I announce that Violins of Hope activities in Los Angeles have been suspended. I’m sure this is not surprising, given our collective caution surrounding COVID-19. Based on the recent decisions by LAUSD, CSUN, as well as the recommendations of public officials, I cannot foresee any of the events of the next six weeks proceeding as planned. In addition, Avshalom Weinstein must hasten his return overseas before further travel restrictions are announced.

We had already announced the cancellation of the Rotterdam Philharmonic (March 25) and Jerusalem Quartet (April 5).  We are now confirming cancellation of K-12 student matinees (March 17 and 18) as well as the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony concert led by Noreen Green and featuring soloists Lindsay Deutsch and Lynn Harrell (March 22) as well as all other activities at other venues. Refunds will be processed for all of The Soraya’s ticketholders. We will not be able to reschedule these events this year. However, we are already working with the Weinsteins to identify a future date to reschedule some of the activities.  

Violins of Hope

We are pleased to share that The Soraya’s Arts Education program along with Artist-in-Residence Niv Ashkenazi completed 30 K-12 school visits. Indeed, a new generation has successfully been introduced to the important ideas that are at the heart of Violins of Hope. Niv is the only musician in North America who possess one of the violins from the collection, and it has been an honor to work with him for the past 10 months. We ask that you support Niv by purchasing his new CD, recorded at The Soraya earlier this year, which features composers impacted by the Holocaust. You can purchase the CD here.

I also extend my personal gratitude to Honorary Chair L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin. The Controller shared this message earlier today:

“It has been a true pleasure chairing the Violins of Hope Los Angeles County Honorary Committee. As the son of Holocaust survivors, I see Violins of Hope as an opportunity to build a bridge from the past to the present through the universal language of music. While I am disappointed that the events we worked so hard to present cannot take place at this time, my greatest concern in the health and wellbeing of the greater community. And I am hopeful that, in the future, we will have the chance to bring Violins of Hope to the many thousands of people who need to hear the stories these wonderful instruments tell. They show us all that, even when times are dark, the best of humanity perseveres and, ultimately, prevails.”

I am grateful to Chair Susanne Reyto for inspiring 29 different organizations to produce or host events and concerts in the coming weeks, and I extend my sincerest gratitude for the 142 supporters who contributed to our concerts and education efforts at The Soraya.

Thor Steingraber
Executive Director

A Message to our community
March 12, 2020, at 12:30PM

Over the past weeks and months, CSUN leadership has been carefully following the news regarding the spread of COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, and with the concurrence of the Office of the Chancellor, CSUN will suspend many of the in-person activities on its campus. CSUN President Dr. Dianne F. Harrison shared the following with the campus community: “Please know that we have made this decision after careful consideration and discussion. We are driven by the overarching priority of ensuring the health and safety of every member of our community by increasing social distancing and limiting the number of large gatherings on campus. These actions are in accordance with the recommendations of public health officials, which we continue to follow.” Accordingly, all public activity at The Soraya will be suspended March 12th through April 17th. This includes all presented events, rental events, and arts education activities.

We are attempting to reschedule presentations with a number of our artists especially those that are Los Angeles-based. New dates will be communicated to ticketholders if and when plans with artist management can be finalized. Refunds will be made for any patrons unable to attend. We have tentatively identified April 19 as a new date for Violins of Hope with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony. Understanding that the situation is quickly evolving, we will confirm that change as soon as possible.

March 12 & 13, 2020
Melissa Aldana
Visions for Frida Kahlo

March 28, 2020
La Marisoul
Un Homenaje to Mexican-American Music
From Lalo Guerrero to Today

April 9, 2020
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra
Directed by Scotty Barnhart
The Music of Ella Fitzgerald
Featuring Lizz Wright and Carmen Bradford

May 2, 2020
Kurt Elling
25th Anniversary of Close Your Eyes

The following shows at The Soraya are canceled and refunds will be processed for all ticketholders.

March 22, 2020
LA Jewish Symphony
Violins of Hope 

March 25, 2020
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Lahav Shani, Conductor and Piano

March 29, 2020
Yamato - The Drummers of Japan
"Jhonetsu" – Passion 

April 5, 2020
The Jerusalem Quartet
Onstage Sessions Chamber Music 

April 16, 2020
Amir ElSaffar’s
Rivers of Sound Orchestra

April 17, 2020
An Evening with Peter Sagal
Host of NPR's 'Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!'
Presented in Partnership with KPCC


Additional Cancellations: 

April 19, 2020
Bollywood Boulevard
A Journey Through Hindi Cinema Live
The producers of Bollywood Boulevard have decided not to travel from India.

May 9, 2020
Randy Newman’s Faust: The Concert
With Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman
Due to the nature of casting, producing, and rehearsing this original concert production, we will be unable to proceed with the May 9th date. Information about a new date will be forthcoming.

In moments like these we need music more than ever, and artists need your support more than ever. You’ll find links above to our artists’ websites so that you may support them by purchasing their music.

If you have questions, the Ticket Office can be reached at 818.677.3000 and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-4pm. The Administrative Offices will be open Monday through Friday during regular business hours and can be reached at 818.677.8800.

Communication continues to be a top priority, and we ask for your help in that regard. Please continue to read our email communications, check our website, or look at our social media platforms for any future updates. We thank you for your continued support and sincerely hope that you and yours remain safe and healthy.

Thor Steingraber
Executive Director

Melissa Aldana Concert Update
March 11, 2020, at 6:00PM

Over the past weeks, CSUN leadership has been carefully following news regarding the spread of COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, and with the concurrence of the Office of the Chancellor, CSUN will transition to virtual learning following spring break, and all in-person classes will be canceled Thursday, March 12 through Sunday, March 15.

Accordingly, Melissa Aldana will not perform at The Soraya on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13. We are attempting to secure new dates for her appearance at The Soraya, which will be communicated to ticketholders as soon as plans with artist management can be finalized. Refunds will be made for any patrons unable to make the new dates.

Information about subsequent performances will be forthcoming in the next 24 hours.

An update regarding COVID-19
March 11, 2020, at 2:30PM

For all events at The Soraya, we are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for patrons, artists, staff, and all who visit our venue. It is in that spirit we share the following update concerning upcoming performances.

As many of our artists are currently on national or international tours, their travel plans are tied to their appearances at venues across the country and the world. Given this, we are in daily communication with their representatives. We expect to have more information soon on a show-by-show basis that may result in postponements or cancellations. Additionally, as a venue on a state campus, we are subject to the direction of CSUN leadership.

CSUN leadership and the University’s emergency operations team have been meeting daily to monitor and plan for COVID-19/Coronavirus and the safety of the campus community. This extensive work is in alignment with the direction of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases at CSUN, and officials have stated there is no immediate threat to Los Angeles County residents. Visitors may engage in typical activities, following recommended public health hygiene practices. CSUN is providing updates at the following website:

CSUN and The Soraya have already instituted additional cleaning protocols. Cleaning staff have shifted their cleaning and disinfecting to focus on high-touch surfaces. At all of our scheduled performances, we will inform patrons of the additional measures being taken to ensure their safety. We recommend you consult the Center for Disease Control guidelines for additional preventative care, found on their website:

If you are not feeling well, please remain at home. We will exchange your ticket for a future performance in the 2019–2020 season or provide a refund — or you can donate your ticket purchase back to The Soraya to support our programming and Arts Education efforts. The Ticket Office can be reached Tues–Sat, 11am–4pm at 818.677.3000.

Communication is a top priority, and we ask for your help in that regard. Please continue to read our email communications, check our website, or look at our social media platforms. If CSUN campus protocols change or if the plans of our presented artists change, we will be contacting all ticket holders with updates via the channels listed above.

We thank you for your continued support.