Live Music Month 2020: what live music from our partners can you watch online or at venues?
1 October 2020, 06:00 | Updated: 28 October 2020, 13:36
Live music is slowly returning in the UK and around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic – here’s a round-up of what our wonderful partner orchestras have planned in your region or online.
Since lockdown in March, we’re all been greatly missing live music in the UK.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues into the Autumn, venues are starting to open up with limited audiences, and musicians are playing outside their homes and gardens again, relishing the opportunity to play to live audiences once more.
Even though live music, sadly, isn’t yet abundant, there are some wonderful concerts cropping up. And – we may be biased – but the offering from our partner orchestras and organisations around the UK and beyond are well worth the trip.
Even partners that aren’t quite ready to return to the concert hall have some brilliant live music to showcase – in the form of online streams, archived digital concerts and social media video series.
All that’s left to do is plan some watching – be it in person or online!
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
The orchestra’s first since lockdown began in March, the concerts are taking place between 30 September and 16 December – and feature newly-commissioned works, as well as favourites by Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, and many more.
With chief conductor Kirill Karabits at the helm, the BSO’s thrilling Autumn season will also be available to stream online for £6 a ticket.
Visit www.bsolive.com to plan your viewing or book tickets to a concert.
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Our Orchestra in the Midlands, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), recently announced that its musicians will be returning to the CBSO Centre on Berkley Street for a special series of socially-distanced chamber concerts every Friday, from Friday 16 October.
The orchestra’s also just announced that it will get back to performing in Symphony Hall for the very first time, with conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, since the hall shut its doors at the start of lockdown. Check out the orchestra’s website now to find out what wonderful programmes of chamber works are coming up in the next few weeks, and buy tickets for just £15.
CBSO also stunned us at the beginning of September with their live-streamed 100th birthday concert – filmed at a warehouse with social distancing, and starring cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and conductor Sir Simon Rattle.
CBSO has a brilliant online platform called ‘Stay Tuned’, which features performances and encounters with the orchestra’s musicians, conductors and music director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla to watch on demand.
Visit cbso.co.uk/cbsostaytuned to stay in touch with this wonderful orchestra – and look forward to the next opportunity to visit them in the concert hall.
Los Angeles Philharmonic
In the wake of the pandemic, and concert cancellations, the LA Phil established ‘Sound Stage’, a platform streaming full concerts featuring the orchestra in socially-distanced performances.
Further concerts stream on 2 (pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins the orchestra for Rhapsody in Blue), 9 (featuring William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1), 16 (starring soul, jazz and R&B singer Andra Day), 23 (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7) and 30 October (the orchestra performs the original score to BECOMING: An intimate portrait of Michelle Obama).
More streams are planned for November and December.
Visit www.laphil.com to find out more and plan your viewing.
/THREAD After such a long time apart, we are thrilled, delighted, excited and many such other adjectives to announce our Autumn 2020 season, which will take place at @lsostlukes. Details to follow in the thread, but if you want to cut to the chase go here: https://t.co/4PLoVy0Pvk pic.twitter.com/oaIUc63Q2b— London Symphony Orch (@londonsymphony) August 28, 2020
London Symphony Orchestra
As well as ongoing regular slots at LSO St. Luke’s, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) – Classic FM’s Orchestra in the City of London – is returning to the Barbican as it reopens to limited audiences.
Performing for socially-distanced audiences and for future broadcast, the LSO will be continuing its planned Beethoven 250 celebrations with eleven concerts featuring the great piano concertos, performed by Krystian Zimerman and conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, in November and December.
LSO streams its concerts on various platforms including Idagio and its own YouTube Channel. On YouTube, you can find the orchestra’s ‘Always Playing’ series, featuring on-demand broadcasts of past concerts streamed over Thursday and Sunday during lockdown, as well as ‘YouTube Sundays’ (an excerpt or full concert from the current Autumn season at LSO St. Luke’s, broadcast every Sunday) and ‘LSO Coffee Sessions’ where the orchestra’s musicians invite you to share a coffee break with them, have a chat and showcase their home-recorded performances.
Visit lso.co.uk to buy concert tickets, or find the schedule of online concerts coming up.
National Youth Orchestra
Classic FM’s Orchestra of Teenagers isn’t ready to welcome audiences back to live performances quite yet...
... but has been active in online concerts since lockdown in March. At the end of September, the orchestra went live on YouTube with an interactive, ‘choose your own adventure’-style concert – and it featured their lockdown performances of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ (conducted by Marin Alsop) and Holst’s The Planets, which are all still available to watch online on demand.
Visit www.nyo.org.uk to find out what’s next for this ensemble of talented young musicians.
National Children’s Orchestra
The National Children’s Orchestra (NCO) took the difficult decision to cancel all activity it had previously planned for 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. “NCO’s priority has always been the health and wellbeing of all children and staff,” managing director Sophie Lewis said. “We are committed to supporting all children and their families who were due to be part of our NCO community this year and have therefore taken the decision to freeze our 2020 membership and roll it over to 2021.”
Like many other musicians and ensembles around the world, NCO did take the opportunity to jump online to learn, connect with quizzes and chats, and play together – albeit remotely – over the summer, in NCOnline. Videos from then – and archived performances – can be viewed on demand on the orchestra’s YouTube Channel.
Visit www.nco.org.uk to find out more and follow the orchestra.
Classic FM’s Opera Company in the UK is performing its Autumn season outdoors. In various locations, Opera North will present Hansel and Gretel, an animation of La bohème and a special community opera out in the open air.
Visit www.operanorth.co.uk to plan a visit or online watch.
We can attend in-person, socially-distanced concerts from Philharmonia Orchestra, from January 2021 onwards, all being well.
In the meantime, Classic FM’s Orchestra on Tour is presenting four online concerts, live from their Royal Festival Hall London home this October.
The series opens on Monday 26 October with a programme of American music, including works by Copland, Reich and Florence Price – and continues with Britten’s Les Illuminations starring soprano Julia Bullock on Sunday 29 October; Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto performed by Sergey Khachatryan and conducted by Elim Chan on Thursday 12 November; and violinist Nicola Benedetti and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado joining forces for Beethoven on Monday 30 November.
Also – following its partnership with Classic FM to present The Philharmonia Sessions – Philharmonia Orchestra is reigniting the series with Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus. Esa-Pekka Salonen has the baton, and the legendary Stephen Fry joins the orchestra to lend his insights on the ballet.
Royal Northern Sinfonia
You can still hear on-demand performances from the Sinfonia if you head to Sage Gateshead’s YouTube Channel and watch the ‘RNS Lockdown Listening’ series.
Visit sagegateshead.com/royal-northern-sinfonia to stay up to date.
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Classic FM’s Orchestra in North West England, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (RLPO) is returning to Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in Autumn with a flourish – welcoming back chief conductor Vasily Petrenko as well as new chief conductor designate, Domingo Hindoyan, for his first appearance with the great orchestra since since being appointed.
‘RLPO On Demand’ lets you also enjoy the orchestra in its full glory through streamed concerts – with evenings of Mozart, Sibelius, Beethoven and Bartók, and soloists like Tasmin Little, in the pipeline.
Visit www.liverpoolphil.com now to plan your online viewing, and see if there are any concerts you’d like to attend in-person.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Classic FM’s Orchestra in Scotland hasn’t opened the concert hall doors to audiences, but luckily for us, has announced a digital season for Autumn.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) presents a digital season of 10 wonderful orchestral concerts – celebrating 250 years of Ludwig van Beethoven, who said, “There is nothing more beautiful than distributing happiness to many people.”
Amen to that. Watch via RSNO’s digital channels.
The Voices of Classic FM, The Sixteen, sadly had to cancel the Choral Pilgrimage it had planned for 2020 due to COVID-19. However...
... the choir has a wonderful online series coming up, from 18 November. Presented by actor Sir Simon Russell Beale, and conducted by Harry Christophers, ‘A Choral Odyssey’ will see the choir sing at, and explore the history and architecture, of iconic locations around the country, including Shakespeare’s Globe and Penhurst Place in Kent.
The online series will have new episodes every Wednesday, and all episodes will be available to watch on demand until 31 January 2021.
Visit thesixteen.com/a-choral-odyssey to find out more, buy tickets and plan your viewing.
The Autumn season will consist of 80 concerts featuring 150 international musicians – from pianists Igor Levit, and Mahan Esfahani, soprano Sabine Devieilhe and mezzo Marianne Crebassa, to the Arditti Quartet and the Nash Ensemble – performing wonderful concerts to a reduced-capacity audience.
Luckily, if you can’t make the London concerts in person, the performances will all be streamed online.
Find out more, and watch Wigmore’s Autumn season, here.