Quarantine Made Musical: Classical Livestream Planner

By Keegan Morris |

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Even though in-person concerts have been suspended, many talented artists and ensembles are committed to sharing stunning music through the internet. Here’s a guide to some upcoming classical livestreams you should add to your calendar!


QuaranTrio live from Philadelphia

April 21 at 7:00 pm
A trio of lauded chamber musicians: violinist Brendan Speltz (Escher Quartet), violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (Dover Quartet), and cellist Brook Speltz (Escher Quartet), team up for a live broadcast of music by Ernst von Dohnányi, Chris Rogerson, and Beethoven presented by an ensemble of music organizations including the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.

Dover Quartet

Metropolitan Opera's At-Home Gala

Saturday, April 25 at noon CT
What an antidote to opera withdrawal! The Met has taken its annual gala digital, which means that you can see more than 40 leading opera stars — including Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, Anita Rachvelishvili, and Bryn Terfel — perform remotely in a free digital livestream, all from your own living room. Stream it at metopera.org.

Renée Fleming (Photo: Andrew Eccles / Decca)

Mahler's New York: A Digital Festival

Through April 30
The New York Philharmonic, another storied occupant of Lincoln Center, hosts a virtual two-week festival featuring the music of Gustav Mahler. Of course, the festival covers his symphonies and lieder, but "e-tendees" can also expect a virtual walking tour and a DJ set inspired by the composer and conductor, who served as the orchestra's music director from 1909-1911. Head to nyphil.org to join forthcoming livestreams of past concerts, performances available for on-demand viewing, and a slew of other interesting digital content.

Spektral Quartet hosts the "Greatest Talent Show on Planet Earth"

Saturday, April 11 at 8:30 pm CT
With a fresh take on a talent show and the opportunity to embrace community, Spektral Quartet follows up on their in-person talent show from last summer with a virtual one over Zoom. Hosting what they’ve dubbed the Greatest Talent Show on Planet Earth, the Chicago quartet encourages your participation, be it with music, dance, comedy, or “flaming axes.” Whether you’d like to perform, or just want to tune in, make sure to RSVP!

Spektral Quartet (Photo: Jocelyn Chuang)

Andrea Bocelli: Music for Hope

Sunday, April 12 at noon CT
In what promises to be an uplifting concert, Andrea Bocelli will livestream an Easter performance from the cathedral of one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic: Milan.

Beethoven 9 by the CSO

Sunday, April 12 at 3:00 pm CT
The CSO will host a Facebook premiere for a complete video recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 from 2014. The performance of the treasured work is conducted by music director Riccardo Muti and features the Chicago Symphony Chorus plus soloists like Matthew Polenzani, and Eric Owens. If you miss the stream, don't worry: the video will remain on Facebook for on-demand viewing.

Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

Lara Downes

Friday, April 3 at 7 pm CT
Pianist Lara Downes launches her new album, Some of These Days, with a Facebook Live performance from her home in Sacramento, California. The album's uplifting content — freedom songs and spirituals — offers hope in this troubled time. Plus, you can make a difference just by tuning in: the e-concert is a fundraiser for hunger relief organization Feeding America.

Lara Downes (Photo: Jiyang Chen)

Artist Relief Virtual Benefit Concert

Saturday, April 4 at 7:00 pm CT
Classical music stars, including Rachel Barton Pine, J’Nai Bridges, Anthony McGill, and Emanuel Ax, will come together (digitally, that is) for a virtual concert to benefit Artist Relief Tree, a new fund for artists affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Tickets are available for a donation of $5 or more.

J'Nai Bridges (Photo: S. Richards Photography)

Civic Orchestra of Chicago 100th Anniversary Virtual Concert

Sunday, March 29 at 7:00 pm CT
Taking place exactly 100 years after the venerable training orchestra's first concert, what was scheduled to be a traditional, in-person concert, will now be live streamed on Sunday evening. The program will feature an excerpt from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 (patched together from 60 remote recordings by Civic musicians) and seven Civic-commissioned world premieres.

Hope at Home

Daily at noon CT
In a series of half-hour episodes of live musical performance, violinist Daniel Hope performs and hosts some of the world’s most renowned classical musicians. The streams will be available on the ARTE Concert website and on Deutsche Grammophon’s YouTube channel.

Third Coast Percussion

Saturday, March 28 at 7:00 pm CT
Chicago’s own Grammy-winning percussion ensemble will share some of their favorite music, including a work written for them by Philip Glass in a livestream by UChicago Presents in partnership with the 92nd Street Y and the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.

Music Never Sleeps NYC

24 straight hours, beginning Friday, March 27 at 5:00 pm CT
Soon after the sweeping wave of concert cancellations began, cellist Jan Vogler shared a bright idea. A 24-hour performathon featuring him and many esteemed colleagues. The list has ballooned to about 60 performers, including such NYC-based luminaries as Joshua Bell, Jennifer Koh, Pablo Sáinz Villegas, and Inon Barnatan.

London Symphony Orchestra

Thursday, March 26 at 2:30 pm CT
To paraphrase the distinguished orchestra, they may not be able to perform, but they will keep playing. Keep calm and carry on, indeed. The LSO has announced twice-weekly full length concerts streamed live on YouTube. The next one is led by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, who conducts Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 and Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Piano featuring violinist Isabelle Faust.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Seattle Symphony

Thursday, March 26 at 9:30 pm CT; Saturday, March 28 at 10:00 pm CT; Sunday, March 29 at 4:00 pm CT
The resident orchestra of the Emerald city is keeping its audience entertained with a consistent broadcast schedule: weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays. This week, they'll share live rebroadcasts of Dvořák's Symphony No. 8 with conductor Thomas Dausgaard from earlier this year.

Thomas Dausgaard (Photo: Thomas Grøndahl)

We'll keep this guide updated with newly announced classical livestreams, so make sure to check back in!