The earliest classical videos on Youtube?

The earliest classical videos on Youtube?


norman lebrecht

April 19, 2015

It will be ten years this week, April 23, 2005, that Youtube went live, and a while longer before it changed our lives.

Started by three ex-PayPal guys — Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim – it drew 65,000 videos in the first years and was sold to Google for $1.65 billion in November 2006.

The inaugural video was posted by Karim.

The next dozen were gloopy home vids.

When did classical music make it onto Youtube? Quite soon. We found this from Julianna Yau in September 2006.

And this from Mi-Young Lee two months later.

The first professional concert may have been the winner’s recital at the 2005 Chopin Competition.

Does anyone know of any earlier classical postings on Youtube?

The first classical Youtube star, Valentina Lisitsa, did not upload until April 2007, when the network was two years old. She said: ‘The first video I posted was of Rachmaninov’s ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ Etude and it was made by a group of video students. It was basically a class project for them.’
valentina steve


UPDATE: Heike Matthiesen uploaded one of the earliest clasical guitar videos on 14 June 2007, receiving more than 1 million views.

UPDATE2: But here another 7-million player from Ana Vidovic, dated December 2006.


  • Daniel says:

    This is from a day earlier than Mi-Young Lee:

  • Erwin Poelstra says:

    Gustav Leonhardt, 9 August 2006:

  • Greg says:

    Shouldn’t be to difficult – search for instance Mozart 2005, Beethoven 2005 and so on, arrange the search by date, go to the last page and you’ll find. Here is Bach with a lute orchestra in November 2005.

  • Etienne Abelin says:

    Norman, thanks for this follow-up post on Stephen Malinowski, indeed an early classical Youtube hero with first videos posted in December 2005:

    Lots of further things developing right now with the Music Animation Machine, if anyone is interested, get in touch with me.

  • Hilary says:

    I liked it when the uploads were limited to ten minute portions thereby reminding one of the very inception of commercial recording (78s) This made for some very jarring breaks.
    For example, Mahler 9 /Karajan was in atleast 10 chapters.