Calgary cultural life a little quiet? Great music to discover online

With no date set for live music and performance to return to Calgary, our cultural life could be a little quiet for a while yet. We know many of the seniors we care for loved their outings to world class concerts and performances here in Calgary, now cancelled or postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.

However, that’s no reason to stop enjoying great music every day. We have been exploring the wealth of classical and world music available to listen to for free online, from major orchestras to African choirs.

Great orchestras online

Berlin Philharmonic – ‘Digital Concert Hall’

This innovative series, curated and presented by musicians of the Philharmoniker, offer a mixture of a live chamber music concert and archive recordings of orchestral works, all connected by a theme.

Berlin Philharmonic – concert hall


Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Enjoy the Calgary Phil from home. Their YouTube channel has 36 performances to enjoy, all for free, including star names such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and superstar soprano Renée Fleming.

Calgary Philharmonic YouTube


Unusual opera and ballet online

Bayerische Staatsoper

Free opera and ballet performances, without the need to signup. It’s a slightly surreal experience, with the camera behind the performers on the stage, looking out into an empty auditorium. They will request a donation, but you can skip past that screen if you wish.

Staatsoper tv


‘Music for the Eyes’

Garsington Opera in the UK puts art alongside opera to give you new insights with expert guidance. Click the link to explore Pushkin and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ alongside visual art, looking at romance, romanticism and ennui.

Garsington Opera YouTube


Famous venues online

Live with Carnegie Hall

Some of the world’s finest artists share behind-the-scenes stories, excerpts from past performances, and live musical moments. There’s lots to choose from for free.

Carnegie Hall


Víkingur Ólafsson at the Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavík, Iceland

An empty concert hall, a pianist, an Ave Maria, as broadcast on the BBC. Fascinating insight into how a performer approaches a new piece. (You may need to sign in.)

Reykjavik concert hall


Royal Albert Hall – Royal Albert Home

The famous venue in central London UK holds concerts all year round – normally. Now, you can see the artists who would normally play there performing from their own homes instead. It’s a live event, and they’ll even send you an email reminder when its due to start.

Royal Albert Hall


Something different…

Beautiful Botswana

A lovely video of African wildlife and a joyous rendition of “Mombo” by a Botswana choir. A tea break for the soul!

Botswana YouTube


Learn with Carnegie Hall

OK, this is designed for kids, but it’s a series of irresistible, infectious 60-minute concerts of musical fun. We’re still humming the tunes!

Carnegie for kids


Australian Chamber Orchestra

Thanks to video conferencing technology, players can perform quartets and more in their own homes. It’s a great way to see close-ups of players – and a sneak peak at their homes and bookshelves too! Try this performance of Kilar’s “Orawa”, a modern piece that combines classical sweeping themes and hypnotic twists and turns. A new favourite on our playlist.

Australian chamber Orchestra YouTube


Norwegian changing of the guard with “Thriller” music

Yes, really! Stick with it and admire the precision of their footwork.

Changing of the guard – Norway


The Calgary Stampede Showband

No Stampede this year, sadly, but here’s the 2019 Showband to brighten your morning. Yeehah!

Stampede Showband YouTube


And there’s more, lots more

UK classical music station Classic FM updates its list of live streamed concerts every week – find it here: Classic FM

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