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As Concert Halls around the world shut, more and more of us turn online for our fix of culture. Here are some of our orchestral librarian, Amy’s top 5 ways to access music and performances online!

SOCIAL MEDIA

First and foremost, make sure you’re following all your favourite orchestras and artists on social media. Orchestras around the world, including us here at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, are creating and sharing content from our musicians, conductors and their equally talented family members! Be sure to tune in at 4pm every second Sunday to enjoy a concert from Scottish pianist Christina Lawrie and her husband, SCO’s own Marcus Barcham Stevens (Principal Second Violin). So far, we have enjoyed Brahms’ Violin Sonata in D and a lovely rendition of Dvorak’s ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’ for Mothers’ Day the other week.

Our colleagues in Glasgow at the RSNO are going to be premiering concerts from their archives every Friday night. This week (Friday 10th) #RSNOFridayNightClub will be showing Brahms’ Requiem conducted by RSNO and SCO’s Chorus Director, Gregory Batsleer. The SCO are performing this momentous work next April with our Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev. Social media is also a great place to keep up to date with London Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Always Playing’. This is another great resource for online concerts with a new concert and programme notes every Sunday and Thursday, as well as interviews, articles and even information on how to join their Instagram Pub Quiz! Great articles and concerts can also be found at LPOnline and there are many fantastic chamber recitals available in the Wigmore Hall video library.

BERLIN PHILHARMONIC DIGITAL CONCERT HALL - WEBSITE

In case you haven’t heard already, the Berlin Philharmonic is currently offering 30 days of free access to its Digital Concert Hall! This means you can now enjoy over 600 concerts from 15 seasons, as well as many films on the Orchestra’s history and interviews with conductors and musicians, all for free and streamed straight to your living room!

With such a huge number of concerts to choose from, you can find almost anything you want to watch, and then either watch an entire concert or pick your favourite pieces and build your own programme for the evening. How about checking out Bartók’s ‘Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta’ which we were due to perform the other week; or getting a preview of artists coming to the SCO next Season such as violinist Lisa Batiashvili who you can see performing not one but six concertos, including those of Sibelius and Dvorak. Also available are the Rattle/Sellars stagings of the Bach Passions – perfect to enjoy as we approach Easter.

Other highlights include the chance to see Berlin’s new Principal Conductor, Kirill Petrenko, in action and getting to enjoy the intimate “Late Night” concert series, which feature some excellent chamber repertoire including works by Berio, de Falla and Debussy.

OPERAVISION - WEBSITE

Supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, 29 companies from 17 countries contribute performances to the OperaVision library. Teatro La Fenice, Glyndebourne and Komische Oper Berlin are just a few of the partners whose performances you can enjoy. This incredible free resource allows you to watch entire operas for free and even surtitled, and also includes resources for those unfamiliar with opera to help you get the most out of the performances.

Current highlights include Opera North’s highly acclaimed production of Britten’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’, but there are plenty of lighter favourites including the ‘Marriage of Figaro’, ‘Barber of Seville’ and ‘Madame Butterfly’.

The lineup changes regularly (but not too quickly so no need to cram in panic viewing!) and coming up soon are performances of ‘Guillaume Tell’ and ‘Nabucco’.

As well as the performances available year-round on OperaVision, in light of current closures Wiener Staatsoper, Paris Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and many other opera houses around the world have begun streaming performances from their archives!

*Top tip* How about making it a social event and watching along with your friends at the same time. You can even have each other on video chat so you can pass comment like you’re both really there. Just be sure to mute your microphone when you’re not speaking!

NKODA - WEBSITE

If like many you’re using this new-found free time to dust off that violin that’s been sitting in your cupboard for years, or you’re using this opportunity to get in a bit more practice, then why not try downloading nkoda! This relatively new app allows you to stream sheet music to your device from their extensive catalogue. For those after a challenge, how about looking up that concerto you’ve always wanted to learn or working through some of your favourite orchestral solos. With unlimited access to huge catalogues of music, you really can spend hours browsing the virtual shelves and it’s the perfect way to find some repertoire for your newly formed household chamber ensemble of flute, French horn and double bass!

There’s also a wide selection of popular music available, and for those just picking up their instruments, nkoda has plenty of pedagogical resources too so there’s really no excuse to not be practising your scales!

LESSONS

Whilst beginner books are available on nkoda (and from other suppliers) there’s no better way to learn an instrument than with a teacher. With schools closed and social isolation in place, many teachers are adapting to online teaching and are able to offer instrumental tuition over video call. These are trying times for everyone, but if you are in a position to, then get in contact with a local teacher and see if they can offer online you teaching/ continue lessons that you are already having. What better way to support your local musicians AND you can improve your playing or learn a new skill!

So happy browsing and keep checking your favourite platforms for the brilliant content that our Marketing Team are putting together for you!

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