Play on: keeping the performing arts going during crisis



With concert halls around the world closed, and audiences and musicians in isolation, the performing arts world has turned to the internet to provide much-needed joy and comfort.

It is truly inspiring to see our global community coming together and finding alternative ways to reach audiences; from mini-concerts live from artists’ homes to offering to share expertise with young artists. We’ll aim to keep this list updated as and when they are announced, as well as sharing across our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

#musicconnectsus #togetherthroughmusic #allinthistogether #keepthemusicgoing

Last updated: 1 April 2020


Alisa Weilerstein #36DaysOfBach

The American cellist has launched a daily video series, discussing and performing one movement of Bach’s solo cello suites a day. Join her each day on Facebook at 10.30am PDT / 5.30pm GMT.

Andrei Ioniță

Cellist Andrei Ioniță has shared a 15-minute quarantine performance of Bach and Saint-Saëns over on his Facebook page.

Anna Prohaska

Soprano Anna Prohaska took to her balcony to entertain her neighbourhood with a rendition of Puccini’s Mi chiamano Mimì. Watch Anna’s video on Facebook here, and the response from passers-by here, via RBB.

Anna also took part in Deutsche Grammophon’s new series, Moment Musical, filmed at Berlin’s legendary Meistersaal, and streamed on the DG YouTube page. Watch her full performance with pianist Caspar Frantz here.

Bayerische Staatsoper

Munich’s opera house will be providing individual performances as live stream or video-on-demand on www.staatsoper.tv, including Lucia di Lammermoor, Il trovatore and Parsifal. 

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Live

Highlights of the Bergen Philharmonic video library include the orchestra’s 5-star semi-staging of Peter Grimes, hailed “the best I’ve ever seen” by The Spectator (with Stuart Skelton and Catherine Wyn-Rogers), Edward Gardner conducting Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and John Adams’ Become Ocean conducted by Ludovic Morlot.

Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall

Free to access for a limited time, highlights include over 200 concerts conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, 18 semi-staged opera performances including Tosca (with Kristine Opolais and Alexander Tsymbalyuk), Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (with Anna Prohaska and Anthony Roth Costanzo), and Tristan und Isolde (with Eva-Maria Westbroek, Stuart Skelton and Sarah Connolly), plus interviews and documentaries. Redeem the voucher code BERLINPHIL by 31 March and receive free access to all concerts and films in the Digital Concert Hall.

Bolshoi Theatre

The Bolshoi will be broadcasting several opera and ballet performances on their YouTube channel, beginning on 27 March with Swan Lake. The two operas due to be broadcast are Rimsky-Korsakov The Tsar’s Bride (1 April) and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (7 April).

Boston Symphony Orchestra #BSOatHome

The Boston Symphony Orchestra will be sharing great performances from the BSO archives, selected by BSO Artistic Administrator Anthony Fogg, as well as broadcasting nightly concerts on WCRB Classical Radio Boston. Highlights of this week include Lars Vogt’s performance of Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, Bernard Haitink conducting Ravel, Thomas Ades and Mozart, and Emanuel Ax performing Mozart Piano Concerto No. 1 with Christoph von Dohnányi.

BR-Klassik #MusikBleibt

German radio station BR-Klassik’s streaming festival, in support of Deutsche Orchester-Stiftung, featured a beautiful living-room performance from Magdalena Kožená and Ohad Ben-Ari. It is available to watch in full on the BR-Klassik website.

If you can and would like to donate to the fund, visit orchesterstiftung.de

David Niemann #bachagainstinsanity

Conductor David Niemann has turned to his violin, sharing daily performances of Bach on his Instagram account.

Etienne Dupuis & Nicole Car

Baritone Etienne Dupuis has set himself the challenge of writing a song a day, and is sharing them through his Instagram page. Soprano Nicole Car joined him on Day 4, and you can watch all the videos here.

Fatma Said & Malcolm Martineau

Following the cancellation of their Wigmore Hall recital, Fatma Said and Malcolm Martineau joined forces to perform Schumann’s Meine Rose from their respective living rooms in the UK and Germany. Watch on Facebook.

Iurii Samoilov

Iurii Samoilov, along with friends Oleg Zholtikov and poet Lilia Vinogradova, took to Facebook to share a song they wrote together entitled Spring. Watch on Facebook.

Johannes Moser masterclasses

The cellist has launched a series of daily masterclasses “for all of us who are grounded because of COVID-19″. Covering a range of topics including Dvořák Cello Concerto, double-stops and tritones, the videos are available on both his Facebook and YouTube channels.

Joyce DiDonato

Following the cancellation of performances of Werther at the Metropolitan Opera, Joyce DiDonato, co-star Piotr Beczała, Emmanuel Ceysson and Howard Watkins performed excerpts from Massenet’s opera live from Joyce’s living room. The videos is available to watch here.

La Monnaie

La Monnaie has made seven full opera performances available on their website. Highlights include Pascal Dusapin’s Macbeth Underworld, premiered in 2019 and starring Magdalena Kožená as Lady Macbeth. Read this article for an insight into this new work.

London Philharmonic Orchestra

The LPO will be offering online concerts, including solo performances, digitally-combined chamber performances, and playlist concerts introduced by the musicians. Details will be announced here.

London Symphony Orchestra #AlwaysPlaying

The LSO will be streaming a concert from their archive each Sunday and Thursday from 22 March. Upcoming highlights include Kristian Bezuidenhout and Isabelle Faust performing Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin and Piano, and Sir Simon Rattle conducting Sibelius and Janáček.

Lincoln Center at Home

This new initiative from Lincoln Center will see them share rarely seen video from decades of Live From Lincoln Center, recent performances from across campus, and live streams from wherever performances are still happening – empty halls, living rooms, and more. At its heart are two new initiatives for families: Lincoln Center pop-up classroom and Concerts for Kids.

Mahler Chamber Orchestra #KeepPlaying

Musicians from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra have been recording remote performances, and sharing them across their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Take a look here.

Marquee TV

The international multi-genre performing arts streaming service has extended its free trial period to 30 days. Performances available include a range of recent opera, ballet and contemporary dance productions from the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Opernhaus Zurich, Aldeburgh on the Beach, Mark Morris Dance Group, Opera national de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Real Madrid and more. Sign up here.

Matthew Rose & Steven Isserlis

Matthew Rose and Steven Isserlis have started a daily series on Twitter, sharing music recommendations with each other and their followers. Follow along on their Twitter accounts: @roseandfriends and @StevenIsserlis.

medici.tv free concerts

The classical music streaming site has made a number of performances available for free, including Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the New World Symphony in performances of his own works, Yannick Nézet-Séguin leading the Rotterdam Philharmonic in Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, and Andrei Ioniță’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Munich Philharmonic.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra MSO Live

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will be sharing performances via its YouTube channel. Current streams include Beethoven Symphony No. 7 and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

Metropolitan Opera

The New York opera house is streaming a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series for free on their website each day. Videos are available for 23 hours, from 7.30pm EDT until 6.30pm the following day. This week is Wagner week, with broadcasts including Tristan und Isolde conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, and Die Walküre and Tannhäuser starring Eva-Maria Westbroek.

Moment Musical

Together with Arte TV and C Major Entertainment, Deutsche Grammophon presents a series of live streams filmed at Berlin’s Meistersaal, “Moment Musical”. Starting on Friday 27 March, the second performance (Sunday 29 March at 4pm CET) features soprano Anna Prohaska, who shares music by Purcell, Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, Puccini and Weill.

Music Never Sleeps NYC

Cellist Jan Vogler has announced a 24-hour live-streaming marathon to raise funds for New York City artists. Performers will include Inon Barnatan, Nico Muhly, the Brentano Quartet and Benjamin Beilman. The live stream will begin on Friday 27 March 2020 at 10pm GMT (6pm EDT).

Update:  You can now watch Inon’s 40-minute performance on the Music Never Sleeps NYC YouTube channel.

Nederlands Dans Theater NDT TV

The contemporary dance company will be releasing a different video each week, all available free on their website. This week you can watch Stop-Motion by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot.

New York Philharmonic NY Phil Plays On

To keep the music alive while David Geffen Hall is closed, the New York Philharmonic has launched NY Phil Plays On, “a new portal for free digital content to provide comfort and connection to millions of classical music fans worldwide”. The content includes over 150 hours of audio available on their website and soundcloud page.

Nicky Spence

Tenor Nicky Spence appeared on BBC Radio 1 on 23 March, chatting to Scott Mills about the effects of the crisis on musicians, and performing Nessun Dorma and an operatic version of a Lizzo hit; all from his home. Catch up on BBC Sounds. Nicky has also been offering online sessions with young singers through his social media accounts.

Opera Comique

The French opera house has made several full-length performances available on its website, including Ercole Amante (starring Nahuel Di Pierro and Giulia Semenzato) and Le Comte Ory (conducted by Louis Langrée and starring Julie Fuchs).

Opera national de Paris

Operas currently available to watch on the Opera de Paris website include Don Giovanni (with Etienne Dupuis in the title role and Nicole Car as Donna Elvira).

OperaVision: Glyndebourne, Royal Swedish Opera, Opera North & more

Free operas include Glyndebourne’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail conducted by Robin Ticciati, Britten’s Turn of the Screw from Opera North starring Eleanor Dennis, and Royal Swedish Opera’s Madama Butterfly with Asmik Grigorian as Cio-Cio-San. Visit OperaVision.

Peter Whelan

Conductor and bassoonist Peter Whelan offers one of the more unusual self-isolation videos, performing all parts in Telemann’s aria for four bassoons and bass voice from ‘Kommt verruchte Sodoms-Knechte’. Watch the video on Facebook.

Royal Opera House #OurHouseToYourHouse

The Royal Opera House has announced a series of streams which will be available on both their Facebook and YouTube channels. The programme includes Peter and the Wolf and The Metamorphosis from The Royal Ballet, and Acis and Galatea (starring Matthew Rose and directed by Wayne McGregor)and Così fan tutte from The Royal Opera. Find out more on the ROH website.

Sadler’s Wells

The London theatre will present a programme of full-length dance performances and workshops online, beginning on Friday 27 March with an exclusive online screening of BalletBoyz Deluxe. Join the screening on their Facebook page.

San Francisco Symphony Keeping Score

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s ground-breaking Keeping Score project will be made available for free streaming for the first time, on the orchestra’s YouTube channel. So far, three episodes have been released, with the remaining six due for release through 11 April 2020.

Seattle Symphony

The Seattle Symphony Orchestra will be sharing performances on their website each Thursday and Saturday in March. Keep an eye on seattlesymphony.org/live for more details as they are announced.

Staatsoper Berlin

The Berlin opera house has announced a daily opera or ballet broadcast. The virtual programme is set to include Le nozze di Figaro with Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Dorothea Röschmann and Anna Prohaska, and Die Verlobung im Kloster with Aida Garifullina and Andrei Zhilikhovsky.

Teatro Real & Gran Teatre del Liceu

Two of Spain’s leading opera houses, Teatro Real and Gran Teatre del Liceu, have teamed up to offer free streamed operas via myoperaplayer.com. Viewers can access the library using the code OPERAENCASA.

Highlights of their library include Romeo et Juliette with Aida Garifullina and Saimir Pirgu, Das Rheingold with Alexander Tsymbalyuk, Sarah Connolly and Sophie Bevan, and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking with Joyce DiDonato, Michael Mayes and Measha Brueggergosman, and Rodelinda with Lucy Crowe and Bejun Mehta.

The Philadelphia Orchestra Your Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra

Every Thursday night at 8 PM ET, The Philadelphia Orchestra will share a past or previously unreleased performance. Available this week is Yannick Nézet-Séguin‘s first performance as Music Director Designate – filmed in 2010.

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra took to YouTube for a virtual performance, of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

Royal Swedish Opera

In addition to select recordings being available via OperaVision, Royal Swedish Opera have made several performances available for free, and without registration, on operanplay.se. These include La Traviata conducted by Domingo Hindoyan and recorded on Saturday 8 February 2020, Asmik Grigorian as Madama Butterfly, and a six-part documentary about life at the opera.

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra #TSODailyDose

The Australian orchestra is sharing a new clip every day, including excerpts from recent performances, interviews, show-and-tell demos, chamber music and tracks from their recorded archive. The first, released last week, features soprano Siobhan Stagg in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem. View the full playlist on YouTube.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Musicians from Canada’s Toronto Symphony Orchestra also took to YouTube for a virtual performance of Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

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