Hundreds of years on, classical music continues to captivate listeners across the world. There’s something about the beauty of classical works by composers like Bach and Beethoven that manages to strike a unique emotional chord that’s rarely found with other music.
Classical music is good for the ears, the brain, and the soul. In fact, research has shown that listening to classical music can also bring various health benefits. These include decreased blood pressure, increased concentration, improved sleep, and reduced stress and anxiety.
So if you’re looking for ways to bring more classical music into your life, have a read of these seven ways to connect with classical music online. With live-streamed performances, YouTube channels, podcasts, and blogs, there are now endless opportunities to listen, watch, and learn more about classical music from the comfort of your own home.
1. Enjoy concerts from the London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was first established in 1904, which makes it the oldest of all London’s symphony orchestras. The orchestra currently performs over 120 concerts each year and has previously been named by the Gramophone Classical Music Awards as one of the top five orchestras in the world.
Luckily, with their online resource Always Playing, anyone can listen to LSO’s music from anywhere at any time. They also have a YouTube channel, which started as a series of classical performances called #Lockdown Listening, but now features a range of videos for online viewers to enjoy – from family concerts, to string quartets. It also has a platform for new and young composers, and behind the scenes specials, so there’s plenty to discover.
Alternatively, if you’re short on time, why not try LSO’s Coffee Sessions? These are short performances that feature music chosen by LSO musicians, so they’re perfect for a quick coffee break.
Or, if you’d prefer to read rather than listen, then consider heading over to LSO’s blog. Here you’ll find articles on a range of different topics from the lives of composers through to pieces of music inspired by King Henry VIII and his six wives!
2. Discover new classical music with Concert Roulette
If you’re new to classical music or are in need of some inspiration, Concert Roulette is a great way to discover different kinds of classical music.
With over 200 videos available from all across the world handpicked by the Concert Roulette team, performances feature a range of music from the Renaissance period all the way up to the present day. To get involved, simply click ‘Play Concert Roulette’ on the website to shuffle the selection and you’ll be transported to a randomly picked concert to which you can sit back and enjoy.
The high-definition videos make for a great user experience, and the wide range of performances on offer will keep you on your toes for what’s next. One moment you could find yourself watching a church choral concert, and the next be transported to a peaceful solo gallery performance the next.
3. Tune into a concert from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is a leading cultural organisation in the Australian arts scene. MSO brings together some of the best orchestral music – engaging every year with more than five million people via their range of live concerts, TV, recordings, radio and online broadcasts.
You can get involved with MSO online for free via their YouTube channel, which features a range of full-length concerts to enjoy. Sit back and enjoy MSO’s world-class performances of works by famous composers like Wagner, Verdi, and Vine.
4. Visit Discovery Orchestra and connect with classical music on a deeper level
Many people find that classical music can be emotional to listen to, and affect them differently to other genres of music. If you’re looking for a way to connect with classical music on a deeper level, then Discovery Orchestra is definitely worth a visit.
Discovery Orchestra was first established in 1987 with the aim of teaching people about the listening skills that are needed to really connect with classical music. This involves things like taking time to notice the various expressive details of classical music that can often strike deep emotional chords within us.
Discovery Orchestra offers a range of online content including educational videos, chat and radio shows, and podcasts.
The Discovery Orchestra Chats – which are available free on YouTube – are short (5-15 minute) music listening sessions that focus on everything from musical melody and rhythm to the lives of different composers. Meanwhile, the Orchestra’s Fall in Love with Music series explores new ways to approach listening to classical music And, the Notes from Under the Piano podcast features the personal stories about Discovery Orchestra’s Artistic Director Maestro Maull, which include details about his experiences as a performer, conductor, and music educator.
5. Get involved with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) can be found alongside the New York Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera, and the New York Ballet at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which is the largest performing arts complex in the world.
The Society offers a Watch & Listen programme where viewers can watch, listen, and interact with CMS’s work from home. This is a real opportunity to learn more about the music, enjoy performance videos, and watch live stream performances.
For example, you could enjoy the various concerts that are centered around famous figures like Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Rachmaninov. Or tune into one of the lectures exploring the musical heritage of people like William Primrose, Rablo Casals and Leon Fleisher.
The Society also hosts a range of online events where guests can delve deeper and learn more about music and specific composers. Alternatively, if you’d like to learn more about actually playing instruments yourself, there are masterclasses in everything from piano to horn available.
6. Discover the stories behind the music with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was founded in 1891 and is one of the five American orchestras commonly referred to as the ‘Big Five’. They’re considered leaders in musical excellence.
CSO offers plenty of opportunities for viewers to get involved with their music from home via radio, TV channel, podcast, and YouTube.
The CSOradio broadcast series offers an impressive collection of live performances available to listeners weekly. These include Beethoven-themed shows, as well as other favourites like Faust, Jacobs, and Krivine. The aim of the programme is to bring the fascinating stories behind the music to life and offer new insights.
CSOtv gives viewers access to stream the best free and premium digital performances in high definition on demand. These include breathtaking performances of musical pieces by composers like Mozart, Goudnod, and Ravel. And with new episodes being released weekly, there’s always something new to watch and enjoy. You can learn more about what’s available in the CSOtv guide on the CSO website.
CSO’s YouTube channel is also full of numerous musical performances which you can sit back and relax for hours watching. Other features include the CSO’s podcast where CSO musicians go behind-the-scenes to find out what it takes to be part of the world’s greatest orchestras, and Experience CSO where viewers can learn more about the history of famous classical pieces and composers.
7. Watch performances from new talent through the City Music Foundation
City Music Foundation is a London-based career development and management programme for young and emerging professional musicians. Luckily, via the Foundation’s range of online content, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the talent of these new and exciting artists.
The Foundation currently hosts a Lunchtime Concert Series at Barts Great Hall which anyone can watch online for free. From jazz singing, through to saxophone and piano performances, the Foundation’s musicians cater to a whole range of classical tastes. To sign up and watch the performances, simply ‘Click for tickets’ on the City Music Foundation website.
Although the performances are available to watch live, previous performances are posted on the City Music Foundation YouTube channel, so you can always catch up if you miss something or fancy watching at a different time.
There are endless benefits of bringing more classical music into your life; it’s relaxing, good for our health – and of course, beautiful to listen to.
Whether you simply want to sit back and relax, or learn more about specific composers and different ways to listen, there’s a whole range of online content to choose from. From live-streamed performances, YouTube channels, podcasts, and blogs – people from all over the world can come together to enjoy the beauty of classical music.
For more inspiration, why not check out Vialma? Vialma allows you to enjoy the very best of classical and jazz music.
What do you love most about classical music? How have you got involved with classical music online? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.