Andrea Bocelli to Joyce DiDonato: the greatest musicians are sharing at-home concerts under quarantine

24 March 2020, 12:56 | Updated: 30 March 2020, 16:28

By Kyle Macdonald

From Andrea Bocelli to Joyce DiDonato, the greatest artists of our time are sharing music, in all its depth and power, when we need it most.

Around the world, streets are silent, cafes closed, and concert hall doors shut. In the hope of controlling the spread of coronavirus, world leaders are encouraging people to stay at home and self-isolate.

It's a time of uncertainty and anxiety for many, but it's also a time that's led to an explosion of music-making, from singing and playing on balconies to at-home concerts, recorded and live-streamed on social media.

Some of the great composers and players of our time are in the same situation as the best of us, and they too turning to sharing a love of music to sustain us all.

Here are a few special performances from some of the biggest names in classical music.

  1. A message for "rough times" from one of the greatest

    American-Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman thinks we all need a story to make us smile. He's right.

  2. Beautiful cello melodies from Yo-Yo Ma

    The great American cellist is releasing a series of videos on social media, saying he hopes to share some musical peace amid the disruption and uncertainty caused by the spread of coronavirus.

    His dedication to healthcare workers around the world is also very poignant.

  3. Gautier Capuçon's daily serenades

    French cellist Gautier Capuçon is taking us into his living room to share poignant and uplifting moments of music – like this, Edith Piaf's Hymne à l’amour.

  4. Family music-making with Andrea Bocelli

    The beloved Italian tenor and his daughter Virginia share a moment of music, from their house, to yours.

    My friends, this slightly paradoxical situation is forcing us to reinvent ourselves and to get a bit creative. As I have...

    Posted by Andrea Bocelli on Friday, 13 March 2020
  5. Debbie Wiseman plays 'Spirit'

    Classic FM's Composer in Residence plays a special piece written for Classic FM listeners, recorded in her home studio.

  6. From the Met to the living room

    When New York's Metropolitan Opera closed its doors, mezzo Joyce DiDonato and tenor Piotr Beczała were no longer able to take to the stage to sing Massenet's opera Werther. But that didn't stop them from sharing the music...

    #Werther excerpts NOW live from NYC! Any organization will be happy to accept your support, but here are 2 options that...

    Posted by Joyce DiDonato on Sunday, 15 March 2020
  7. Ave Maria from Anne-Sophie Mutter

    The great violinist lets music do the talking with Gounod's famous Bach arrangement, played in her music room.

    Covid-19

    Dear friends, please stay home and be patient. Only in solidarity to all we can minimize this pandemie. My admiration and deepest gratitude goes out to the heroes in white and the many guardian angels on this planet. Let us stand together in love and the sense of unity.

    Posted by Anne-Sophie Mutter on Friday, 20 March 2020
  8. Pianist Stephen Hough at home

    In a piece recorded at home on Mothering Sunday, Hough plays a piano arrangement of that Bach-Gounod ‘Ave Maria’.

  9. Bach from Renaud Capuçon

    Gautier's brother, violinist Renaud, is also sharing daily music in his self-isolation. Here's some Bach.

  10. Facebook Live with Katherine Jenkins

    The Welsh mezzo knows the value of good company and a moment of music, and used a social media live stream to share it.

    Keeping you company Part 3 #WellMeetAgain https://wishuponastar.katherinejenkins.co.uk/

    Posted by Katherine Jenkins on Thursday, 19 March 2020
  11. Nessun Dorma

    "Together we will beat this", says the great Maltese tenor. If we all do our part, he's right.

  12. In solidarity with composer Thomas Hewitt Jones

    'Solidarity' is a new piece, written last weekend by British composer Thomas Hewitt Jones.

    The composer says "I wanted to write something to express solace and hope, and help bring people together in an uncertain moment for the world when so many feel unsettled."

    John Suchet premiered the piece last week on Classic FM, and we felt it really spoke to this moment. Thomas has made the sheet music available to anyone who might want it.

    'Solidarity' by Thomas Hewitt Jones

    'Solidarity' is a new piece, written on Saturday evening by British composer Thomas Hewitt Jones. The composer says "I wanted to write something to express solace and hope, and help bring people together in an uncertain moment for the world when so many feel unsettled."

    Posted by Classic FM on Monday, 16 March 2020
  13. A children’s concert from cellist Steven Isserlis

    Renowned cellist Steven Isserlis regularly performs concerts for children when touring internationally – and on 25 March, he gave a concert from his home for children (and their parents) stuck at home in quarantine. There was music by Bach, Prokofiev and the traditional Catalan melody ‘Song of the Birds’, arranged for solo cello by Sally Beamish. Lovely.

On Classic FM, we're sharing music with you online, on social media, and as always, on air.

We're featuring some of these intimate performances in our shows – listen on Global Player to John Suchet's first play of Thomas Hewitt Jones' new work at 10.50am on Monday, and Debbie Wiseman's new work at the same time on Thursday.