Australian chamber orchestra
With its usual professionalism, the ACO offers a series of free HomeCasts via Facebook and YouTube, and paid StudioCasts.
The HomeCasts, which began during the lockdown last year, are a fascinating window into the skills and personalities of orchestra members performing short solo works. The season has over 40 videos and recently surpassed three million views.
Shot at various venues in Sydney, StudioCasts is a series of seven ‘cinematic concert films’ made by leading filmmakers, featuring high-end audio and visual production values and a wide selection of repertoire. Five are available now, with the last two slated for release in September and November.
Annual StudioCast subscriptions cost $ 229, and a 30-day single-movie pass costs $ 20. Until September 30, an introductory offer allows 30-day access to all movies for $ 30.
Brandenburg’s “digital stage” Brandenburg One offers polished presentations featuring international virtuosos like violinist Jonas Zschenderlein and Australian stars like soprano Sara Macliver. There are also smaller cameos from orchestra members, many of whom celebrate Bach’s music. Two more concert films are due out later this year, including the popular Brandenburg Christmas concert Xmas ! Xmas !
Free introductory videos explore the people and instruments of the orchestra. A one-year subscription to Brandenburg One costs $ 185.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
MSO.LIVE offers free and paid content ranging from popular classics such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at a lockdown special with Australian inmate Stuart Skelton. There are spellbinding works that deserve to be known, like that of Rautavaara Angel of light and the superb violin concerto by Australian Margaret Sutherland.
If containment makes you want to walk on the wild side, there’s Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Blood on the floor, an idiosyncratic fusion of classical, jazz and modernism, or you can relax with Tina Arena. Selections from top foreign orchestras add value and new concerts are released every month.
Subscriptions start at $ 12 per month and there are pay-as-you-go options.
Melbourne Recital Center
Although currently excluded from the magnificent acoustic spaces of the MRC, the centre’s generous YouTube channel offers the chance to discover (or relive) many memorable recent concerts by a host of stellar musicians. There are dedicated playlists for Australian and First Nations music, as well as numerous concerts by local and famous international ensembles, including the Gabrieli Consort and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra with pianoforte magician Kristian Bezuidenhout.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Sydney Symphony’s free on-demand service offers a fresh and engaging mix of music across the centuries.
Particularly noteworthy are the finely engraved and deeply persuasive tales of Wagner and Richard Strauss under the baton of new conductor Simone Young. Young also collaborates with the conductors in two lesser-known chamber music gem programs with a modernist flavor.
Cuarto, a creative four-part online collaboration between four singers and four dancers filmed during last year’s lockdown, is also worth a look.
Once you’ve created an account and logged into the Sydney Opera House streaming platform, you can enjoy some great classic performances for free, as well as others to rent on demand.
Sophisticated production values complement the accomplished and compelling musicality of groups such as the Offspring Ensemble, the Omega Ensemble and the Sydney Chamber Opera.
A perfectly orchestrated introduction to everything orchestral, George meets the orchestra tells the musical adventures of a very charming and curious little boy.