Frequently Asked Questions

We intend to present the two postponed lectures between May and August 2021. We will share dates as soon as they are confirmed. Please continue to hold onto these tickets. If we are unable to hold these events by the end of August 2021, you will be able to request a refund.

We are rescheduling the entire 2020-21 Season into the 2021-22 Season. Details regarding the 2021-22 Season will be shared in the Spring.

The lectures start promptly at 8 pm. The Symphony Hall lobby opens at 7 pm, and the doors to the auditorium open at 7:30 pm. The evening will conclude at approximately 9:30 pm.

After a few welcoming remarks from the series moderator and an introduction, the evening’s speaker will deliver his or her comments until approximately 9 pm. The moderator then returns to the stage to ask the speaker to respond to the audience’s questions in a lively Q&A session. The evening will conclude at approximately 9:30 pm.

No, the Speakers Series is only sold as a subscription to all seven lectures. Not only does this make it possible to keep the cost of each subscription at a relatively low level, but it furthers the series’ goal of promoting civic dialogue and understanding by presenting a diverse roster of renowned authorities who collectively speak to a broad range of topics and perspectives to enhance our community’s understanding of our increasingly complex world. Particularly in this polarized time, we are proud that subscribers to the Speakers Series welcome the opportunity to hear from a speaker whose views they may not agree with, and even relish the opportunity to challenge him or her with a question.

Yes. Upon arrival at Symphony Hall, please ask an usher for an Assistive Listening Device. We want to make sure that you can hear what the speaker says.

Yes, in cases where the season is not sold out, we offer prorated subscriptions for all remaining lectures throughout the season. Please contact the Symphony Hall Box Office at (617) 266-1200.

You simply can’t beat the “real”, live, in person experience! Being present to hear our speakers share anecdotal, “behind the headlines” stories about their unique experiences for nearly an hour and then take questions from the audience – maybe even YOUR question – is priceless. Some subscribers have described the Speakers Series as an elite continuing education course with a virtual “who’s who” of national and global figures.

The best-known speakers offer engaging and provocative evenings for our subscribers. But it is often the lesser-known (or even completely unknown) names that make the most profound impact on our patrons. The single most frequent comment we hear from subscribers is that the speakers they were least interested in initially were the ones they’ve enjoyed the most. Just ask a long-term subscriber about their evenings with Diana Nyad, Julia Gillard, P.W. Singer or Nando Parrado!

Each season, seven of the world’s most celebrated and influential personalities are selected to share their unique experience and perspectives on a wide variety of topics from world affairs & politics, to history & the environment, books & authors, business & economics and the arts. Click here for a listing of past speakers

The Speakers Series is a series of seven individual lectures, generally scheduled from October through April.

Open Seating Subscriptions $335 Silver Seating Subscriptions $415 Gold Seating Subscriptions $495 Platinum Seating Subscriptions $565 Postage & Handling Fee $10 per seat

Tickets are sold by SUBSCRIPTION to the entire series only! It is not possible to purchase tickets to individual lectures. Both Open and Reserved seating are available. Reserved seating is assigned seating in the Silver, Gold and Platinum sections. Open seating allows you to choose any seat – on a first come basis – that is not in the reserved section.

Tickets go on sale in Mid-March, the day after the 6th lecture of the current season. All existing subscribers will receive a renewal packet in the mail in mid-March, before tickets go on sale to the general public. If you are interested in becoming a new subscriber, you are encouraged to place an order as soon as possible once the new season is announced to increase your changes of obtaining seats as the current season of the Speakers Series is sold out.

Yes! There will be a yellow question card inserted in your program. At 8:25 pm and again at 8:35 pm, ushers will walk down the aisles to collect questions from the audience. There are always more questions submitted than the moderator is able to ask, but hopefully your question will be included.

Yes, as long as we have your email address, we will send you a survey after each lecture.

If there is a lecture you are unable to attend, we encourage you to take advantage of our Ticket Swap Forum. This platform allows you to post unused tickets for the purpose of exchanging them for another lecture with your fellow subscribers.

If you can’t find your tickets or never received them, please call the Symphony Hall Box Office at (617) 266-1200 and they will be able to provide you with replacement tickets.

If we have your email address, we will send an email notification once tickets have been mailed, in early September, so that you can look for them in the mail.

Simply send us an email to asking to be included on our email list or submit your name and email address on the back of a question card at the next lecture and be sure to check the box that says you’d like to be included on the email list.

If any of your contact information has changed, please send us an email to with your new information and we will be sure that your patron record is updated at the Box Office.

Unfortunately, the contracts with the speakers do not allow for the recording and dissemination of a speaker’s comments.