A coalition of five orchestras has forged a new outlet called Classical Live on Google Play Music. The project does what it says on the brand: it offers recordings of live performances through a specialist classical wing of the giant Google machine.
The participating orchestras and conductors are:
Cleveland Orchestra & Music Director Franz Welser-Möst; Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons; London Symphony Orchestra; Sir John Eliot Gardiner; New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Mariss Jansons.
The LSO is the only one not offering performances by its music director; the Concertgebouw offers only concerts by its former music director. The initiative is curated by Jessica Lustig of 21C Media Group.
Andris Nelsons calls it ‘an extraordinary moment as I begin my new musical life with the wonderful Boston Symphony Orchestra.’ Gary Hanson of the Cleveland Orchestra said the ‘new platform promises a prominent place for the latest orchestral performances world-wide. For Cleveland, “Classical Live” will meaningfully complement our ongoing program of radio broadcasts and televised concerts, and our regular CD and DVD releases.’
Before you get too excited, a preliminary search shows a charge of £4-8 in the UK (apparently $4.99 in the US) to download a full symphony from GooglePlay. Click here for Classical-Live. The site is still in development, as is the business model.