The best classical music and opera online streams available
6 August 2020, 16:14 | Updated: 6 August 2020, 16:21
An updating list of all the major classical concerts and events being streamed online as a result of the impact of coronavirus measures continuing around the world.
Measures taken worldwide to curb the spread of coronavirus have seen numerous classical concerts and events postponed and cancelled, and concert halls around the world closed for indefinite periods, since March.
Countries banned gatherings, tightened their borders, and many went into lockdown for weeks. Now things are only just starting to slowly open up.
As many of us are continuing to stay at home to work, self-isolate and look after the family, many major classical concerts and events are still being held without audiences and streamed live for us to see – for free in many cases – and to bring comfort, solidarity and some beautiful relief in trying times.
Upcoming classical concerts and opera being live streamed
13 July – 17 August: Trinity Laban pianists present Bach’s complete 48 Preludes – playing together, virtually, with whatever instruments and recording equipment they happened had to hand in lockdown. Separated by geography, but united as a community in music, this Well-Tempered Lockdown – released every Monday on Trinity’s YouTube Channel – is well worth a watch.
Visit: trinitylaban.ac.uk or youtube.com
4 to 15 August: Sir András Schiff and Sol Gabetta star in a spectacular, four-part Beethoven series within the Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy’s Pop-up Festival 2020, all broadcast live from Switzerland’s idyllic Saanenland throughout August.
6 August, 14:30 BST: Trinity Laban’s lockdown ‘From My Room Orchestra’ joins forces with The Smith Quartet and Trinity Laban dancers for a multi-disciplinary performance of Philip Glass’s String Quartet No. 2 ‘Company’, rounding up its digital summer season.
6 August, 18:00 BST: National Children’s Orchestra presents ‘NCOnline Summer Celebration #unmutedNCO’, which is a culmination of the young musicians’ work over three weeks of online workshops – featuring their performance of newly-commissioned multi-track composition by Ryan Linham, NCO Mambo.
7 August, 10:30 BST: The Melbourne and Singapore Symphony Orchestras join forces in a streamed ‘Songs From Home’ concert, to celebrate 55 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Singapore. Conducted by Benjamin Northey, the celebration will feature orchestral arrangements of ‘I Am Australian’, ‘We Are Singapore’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’.
Visit: youtube.com or facebook.com
12 August, 19:30 BST: It’s the turn of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) brass and percussion players in the orchestra’s latest ‘Summer Sessions’ instalment. Expect brass works from former LPO musicians, alongside Leonard Salzedo’s Concert for Percussion.
25 August, 19:00 BST: Temple Music Foundation presents the second of its ‘Temple Music Live Online’ concerts – this one featuring pianist Imogen Cooper performing wonderful music by Ravel and Debussy.
26 August, 19:30 BST: The final concert in the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s online ‘Summer Sessions’ series is a Beethoven celebration – it is 2020, Beethoven’s 250th birthday after all. The programme features chamber works from the great Romantic composer, including the Quintet for piano and wind instruments in E flat major, and the Trio for piano, flute and bassoon in G major. This final concert features four musicians from the Foyle Future Firsts Development Programme, which offers the opportunity for aspiring orchestral musicians to develop their talent and core professional skills with the orchestra.
29 August, 18:00 BST: Lise Davidsen presents a recital of music for dramatic soprano, including selections from Wagner’s Tannhäser, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, as part of the Met Stars Live pay-per-view recital series.
Recent past live-streamed classical concerts
24 July, 19:00 BST: In June 2017, Ludovico Einaudi performed a stunning mid-summer concert at June 2017 at the Waldbühne in Berlin, and Deutsche Grammophon gives you a chance to relive it through its ‘DG Stage’ series of online concerts.
24 July, 17:00 ET: The Lincoln Center in New York presents its ‘50 Years of Mostly Mozart’ online concert, featuring Mozart’s first and last symphonies. The concert, conducted by Louis Langrée, starts at 7.30pm ET and will be preceded at 5pm by a lecture recital and panel on the works. Sure to be an insightful and exhilarating night (especially if you love Mozart).
25 July, 14:00 BST: The Royal Albert Hall presents a piano instalment of their ‘Classical for Kids’ series of educational online concerts given from musicians at home. Today’s ‘Piano Party’ will feature engaging new music by Colin Riley, Adrian Sutton, John Psathas and Julian Jacobson, and provides a family-friendly introduction to the piano perfect for big kids alike and little beginners alike. Performed by Dawn Hardwick.
26 July, 19:00 BST: The Academy of St Martin in the Fields presents a wonderful archive performance – their ‘Marriner at 90’ concert from April 2014, which was recorded at the Royal Festival Hall and featured Marriner himself conducting Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 on his birthday. Pianist Murray Perahia and violinist Joshua Bell feature as soloists. The concert will be available to watch for two weeks.
28 July, 19:00 BST: Temple Music Foundation presents the first of its ‘Temple Music Live Online’ concerts, featuring world class musicians performing in Temple Church in the heart of London, as it stands empty. ‘Julius Drake and Friends’ will feature pianist Julius Drake performing chamber works by Beethoven and Schubert with violinist Priya Mitchell, violist Sacha Bota, cellist Brian O’Kane and double bassist Steven Williams.
29 July, 19:30 BST: London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) presents its second ‘Summer Sessions’ online concert – this time featuring the woodwind section. The LPO musicians take on Rossini’s Sonata for Wind Quartet No.1 and Mozart’s Serenade in E flat, and music by Janáček.
30 July, 19:00 BST: Soprano Anna Netrebko stars in Puccini’s Tosca, at the Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples for the Teatro San Carlo. Brought to you by the ’DG Stage’ online series of premium online concerts.
31 July: Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra celebrate Brahms with an online concert of the Romantic composer’s first four symphonies, streamed on Amazon Prime. The platform also has some other great classical instalments in the series, including archived Beethoven performances from Daniel Barenboim at the piano.
1 August, 18:00 BST: The great American soprano, Renée Fleming, performs in the music room of the historic Dumbarton Oaks estate, as part of the Met Stars Live pay-per-view recital series.
3 August, 13:00 BST: Birmingham City Organist, Thomas Trotter, performs a lunchtime recital of works by Widor, Rossini and Boëllmann at the great Klais organ of Birmingham’s City Hall.
3 August, 19:00 BST: Award-winning concert pianist, Maria Marchant, launched a new at-home series during lockdown called 7 Notes in 7 Days at 7pm. Now in its fourteenth week, the concert series is streaming live from Blüthner Piano Centre on Baker Street, London, every Monday night.