Friday 4 December 2020

Virtual Circle: HarrisonParrott's new digital initiative offering a sophisticated on-line streaming experience

HarrisonParrott -Virtual Circle

As I wrote in an article last month, the present crisis will be encouraging (or forcing) arts organisations to re-think their relationship with their on-line presence. News has recently come in of a striking new initiative from the classical music management company HarrisonParrott. The company has partnered with eMusic Live (a joint venture of eMusic and 7digital) to create a new live-streaming and digital content platform: Virtual Circle. eMusic Live is currently used by non-classical artists to present a striking on-line presence for streamed concerts and much more.

The idea behind Virtual Circle is to offer audiences a sophisticated on-line streaming experience, with a ‘concert look and feel’ together with in-platform promotional and commercial opportunities for artists (current not offered by any other digital concert platform). Virtual Circle will also serve as a portal into artists’ and partners’ digital worlds allowing audiences to interact with content on the page, allowing artists and audiences to connect at all stages of the performance. 

The results will never replace live performance, but will offer audiences a technologically sophisticated experience; features promised include in-platform high resolution download album purchase, ticket bundles, virtual CD signings, moderated chat feed, action buttons to allow audiences to learn more about the concert, exclusive introductions to the concert, with more interactive features to come. Not all of these will, perhaps, feel desirable to the concertgoer, but they are important if artists are to be able to generate an income from on-line events.

Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä (Photo Rune Bendiksen)
Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä (Photo Rune Bendiksen)

Virtual Circle
 launches on 8 December 2020 with a concert from Oslo Philharmonic and its chief conductor Klaus Mäkelä, performing Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1 (marking the 155th anniversary of the composer’s birth), Kodály’s Dances of Galánta, Rolf Gupta's Epilogue, and Debussy's Danse sacrée et danse profane for harp and orchestra. Mäkelä will give a short introduction to the concert highlighting the strong relationship between Sibelius and the Oslo Philharmonic.

Further ahead there are concerts from pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard (17/12/2020) in Beethoven, Messiaen, Stockhausen and a György Kurtág premiere, the Manchester Camerata, and Belgian-based neo-classical ensemble Echo Collective [see my review of their recent CD, The See Within].

Further information from HarrisonParrott's website.

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