Bach Goldberg Variations Made Free

A project to make available a public domain score and studio recording of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations for free online has finally seen fruition. Raising $15000 (£9500) via Kickstarter – a funding platform for creative projects – pianist Kimiko Ishizaka recorded the music on a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial piano in the Teldex Studio in Berlin under the watchful eye of producer Anne-Marie Sylvestre.

The score was put online for a public three-month review so music enthusiasts and experts could validate the score before the recording began.

The completed project – now named the Open Goldberg Variations – is now available for free steaming and download in a number of high quality digital formats at Because it’s available under the Creative Commons zero license, all rights are waived which means that it can be freely copied, modified, distributed and performed for free.

Such is her enthusiasm for the project and any future works, Anne-Marie Sylvestre has offered her services at no cost. 

She said: “This is a great idea - many people will benefit of that initiative, and I hope it will lead to other recordings of the same kind.

“This music is universal and has to be shared. If ever you need a producer for this recording, I've got the experience for that, and I'd be happy to do it for free.”

A similar project called Musopen has been making public domain recordings of Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky symphonies and is reportedly close to completion.