10 classical sites that really get read

10 classical sites that really get read


norman lebrecht

July 05, 2019

Universal Music today launches uDiscover Music Classical, its online showcase on classical music.

These things take time to find their feet. Some rise. Others – like Universal’s Sinfini Music – fall.

Broadcast sites – ClassicFM, NPR and the like – are simply pumping iron for their main business.

The independent sites that have been around for a while and really get visited are these:

1 Operabase.com

Every singer everywhere and what they’re doing.

2 Online Merker

Digest of German classical media

3 ClassicalMusicNews.ru

Putinised news site

4 Actu musicale

Music news from France Musique

5 Ludwig Van

Everything about music in Canada

6 Bachtrack

Extensive worldwide reviews

7 Medici-tv

Paid-for streamed performances

8 Idagio

World’s biggest archive of recorded music and streamed audio

9 Youtube


10 Slipped Disc

The #1 classical news site, 1.5 million monthly readers and rising.

Room for more?

Any we’ve forgotten?



  • How about Crescendo, Klassikheute, Opernglas, Opernwelt, Opera, etc. etc. etc.

  • Mock Mahler says:


  • fan says:

    Hong Kong-based Interlude (http://www.interlude.hk) has very interesting contents.

  • Joseph says:

    Some things off the top of my head –

    On an Overgrown Path
    NPR (not exclusively classical)
    Whole Note (for more in depth analysis of what’s happening in Toronto and Southern Ontario)
    The Rest is Noise
    5 Against 4
    I Care if You Listen
    BBC Record Review
    The Strad
    Presto Classical
    La Scena Musicale (Montreal and Quebec)
    Musicworks (Canadian new music)
    New Music Box

    Plus, the headline is misleading. I think people go to Medici, Idagio and YouTube for streaming, not reading, just as some of my recommendations lend themselves to streaming and not reading per se.

    Also a note on Ludwig van – be sure and specify which city you’re searching as there’s Ludwig van Montréal (French) and Ludwig van Toronto. Both of those sites largely focus on the two cities of their names and don’t really reflect all of Canada.

  • jean says:

    “8 Idagio
    World’s biggest archive of recorded music and streamed audio”

    Is it really bigger than the Naxos Music Library … ?

    • Marcello says:

      Qobuz is the biggest classical website – and of top of that they have all the other répertoires when you are fed up with classical music !

  • Karl says:


  • Marcello says:

    Of course you forgot Qobuz where not only you have more music than Idagio by far
    But also a lot of neWs, videos, original biographies and reviews.

  • Tony Britten says:

    Yes. My new venture; http://www.theartschannel.online

    Launched in May

    Arts curated for the curious. Take a look, lots of interesting stuff.

  • Rodrigo says:

    In Spain, we enjoy Scherzo, Platea, Codalario, Beckmesser and Mundoclasico. These are all online classical music news sites usually with a focus on what’s going on in Spain and news about Spanish musicians but also with a good overview of international music news. And of course, reviews.

    I’d put Scherzo and Platea at the top of the list for quality. Sometimes in Spain there’s a delay in the press about covering major international music news. Platea is very quick to report and often parallels what’s in Slipped Disc. Platea is frequently the only Spanish news site reporting on big international music news.

    Scherzo is excellent for content and quality with a good international focus. I believe they run an in-print edition which quite elegant and very popular.

    Codalario is relatively new, and only appears online. Big emphasis on Spanish musicians, esp. Spanish musicians working abroad, reviews and good coverage of the Spanish music scene. They have contributors from around Spain, so there’s often a good diversity of opinions. International coverage is a little eclectic and often features random minor newsbites from around the world.

    Beckmesser is a Madrid-based blog, with a particular emphasis on opera. This author is a Madrid insider with knowledge of the inner workings of Madrid’s Teatro Real and the politics of opera in Madrid. His presentation style is unique: he culls music news from around the world and posts the articles in a list in his blog. When he offers opinions, they reflect his long and intimate relationship with the Madrid music scene, which can be enlightening.

    Mundoclasico mostly publishes reviews from around Spain and some international ones. They have a huge team of excellent critic contributors – including a terrific guy who reviews in English from time to time. The editor in chief is a highly respected music critic and author from northern Spain.

    Spain is a huge consumer of classical music and people like to know what’s going on. There is no shortage of knowledgeable music critics and scholars who write about it, and do so very well in these publications.

  • Nick2 says:

    concertonet.com has a great many up to date reviews from many major cities.

  • Victor Trahan says:

    Other sites: Classics Today, Pristine

  • Karl says:

    Boston Musical Intelligencer.

  • Stephen says:

    In the string industry, the only one that is read is The Violin Channel. The rest don’t really exist.

  • Sarah Violin says:

    Violin Channel

  • Jasmin says:

    I haven’t heard of most of these. The Violin Channel is pretty much definitive in the string industry.

  • Cyril says:

    For live or non-live streamed concerts

    Osborne on opera

    Ionarts for well-written cd reviews

  • Anonymous says:

    What do you mean ‘putinized’. God Norman, leave your biased at home!

  • Zachary says:

    There’s The Classic Review (www.theclassicreview.com) which I enjoy reading and is actually one of the better looking websites from the list. It can be a bit more thorough with the editing, but I find the two reviewers there quite knowledgable.

  • Dave says:

    I had to check whether Universal were still owned by Vivendi, as the look of the new website suggests Classic FM might have bought them.

  • Tommy says:

    Musicweb International for all the articles and reviews of the quality that you used to find in Gramophone magazine, Diapason etc

  • Penthesilea says:

    http://www.muzlifemagazine.ru The oldest notable Russian periodical about music and musicians which covers the most recent events of musical life in Russia and in the world

  • I produce The SOUNDLAB New Music Podcast, which may of interest to readers here.

  • Anthony M. Gigliotti says:

    A fin repository of archived concerts: