By this stage in what at the very least feels
like a never-ending pandemic, most people's opinions on livestreamed music have hardened.
The dalliance with digital events has proven itself a welcome and much-needed nicotine patch of sorts for those whose relationship with live music could fairly be called an addiction. For others, it's a poor substitute for the real thing, a less-than-immersive facsimile of a formerly favored pastime.
Two factors can cause music fans to swap from one position to the other, though: the caliber of the musicians and the quality of the presentation. And that's why the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's new foray into digital concerts is welcome news for those in both camps.
In a press release this afternoon, the SLSO has announced that it will make full concert performances available online for the first time in its 141-year history.
The series will feature six concerts filmed using the SLSO's high-definition camera system. The first, released today and available for free, features performances of Strauss’s Metamorphosen
, Yoshimatsu’s And the birds are still…
, and Dvořák’s Wind Serenade
. Subsequent concerts will be made available every two weeks and will cost just $15 apiece.
The concert series is just the latest pandemic-era offering from the SLSO. Last month the symphony launched its Soundlab learning initiative
, which aims to teach school-aged kids about the science of music through a series of educational videos featuring SLSO performers. The new digital concerts simply serve to expand the SLSO's portfolio of online offerings.
“These digital concerts help the SLSO enrich lives through the power of music by making performances accessible wherever our audiences are," President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard says in a statement. "[Music Director Stéphane Denève] and our exceptional family of musicians and staff — with strong support from our Board of Trustees — have championed new opportunities to stay connected with our community. We are energized by this first step in our growing library of media offerings and we look forward to sharing future plans for our expanding digital portfolio in the coming months.”
Each concert will be available for viewing at slso.org
and will stay online for 30 days. The programs for the first six concerts are currently available at that link as well. Each concert was filmed in front of a (reduced-capacity) live audience between October 22 and November 20.
According to the press release, the symphony plans to make more digital concerts available in the future — hopefully enough to tide music fans over until we can finally once again enjoy the real thing.
“We are so pleased to share these concerts beyond the walls of Powell Hall. Nothing brings us more joy than connecting with people through music," says Denève. "We hope you enjoy watching these performances as much as we loved creating them for you. We look forward to welcoming audiences back to live concerts as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
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