Youtube’s secret classical hero

Youtube’s secret classical hero


norman lebrecht

April 20, 2015

It will be ten years next Wednesday since the channel went online and for much of that time – since December 10, 2005, to be precise – Stephen Malinowski has been giving viewers access to classical pieces through the medium of musical animation.

Inventor of the Music Animation Machine and a lavishly gifted musician, Malinowski has clocked up more than 100 million views. Each video, elegantly performed, comes with footnotes that tell viewers how they can perform the work at home.


These are the original December 10, 2005 set. Well worth revisiting:

Video no.1, Scarlatti:
Same day:
Same day: — Clair de Lune, his biggest hit so far, almost 25 million views
Same day: — Bach Toccata and Fugue, another 24 million views
and one more:

And here’s how the animation is done, live in concert (with our pals Etienne Abelin and Dot Yeung).


  • Etienne Abelin says:

    Thanks for this post, Norman. I think Stephen Malinowski is indeed one of the most important classical music innovators of recent times.

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