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Avior Byron

My name is Avior Byron and I am a musicologist, blogger and composer. I write books, articles and a blog about music, performance, research, and theory. Read more at my about page

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The Berliner Philharmoniker’s FIRST FULL SEASON OF live webcasts

Will the internet save the declining world of classical music?

It seems that the internet might do good also to the buisness of classical music. The Berliner Philharmoniker announced that it will broadcast over the internet live from the Berlin Philharmonie.
"The Berliner Philharmoniker’s first full Digital Concert Hall season opens on Friday, August 28 with Sir Simon Rattle leading the orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Laterna Majica and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.  Over the season, 33 concerts will be webcast live from the Berlin Philharmonie and later become available on the site’s video archive."

Where can I find it?

If you wish to see and hear what it is all about, live as well as archived content can be accessed at


Unfortunatly it is not free of charge. Here are the prices: subscription to the complete season (149€, approx US$209), a 30-day subscription (39€, approx $55) or individual concert tickets (9.90€, approx $14).  Individual works are also available starting from 3€ (approx $4.30).  Students receive a 30% discount. 

Subscribers receive access to archived concerts.  All tickets are available online at with payment able to be made by credit card or through PayPal.

Some figures

The Shuman Associates news report that since it was launched the Digital Concert Hall has been accessed by more than 200,000 visitors, 2,000 of which are Season Pass holders. Almost two-thirds of the visitors come from outside Germany.

Is it wise?

Is it wise that they are asking for money to see and hear these concerts? I doubt it. They would probably attract far more people if they would let people access it all for free. They could make more money from selling CDs other products on the way. If you give something for free on the web you can receive much more web traffic. Perhaps they should have given free access to the archives (or is there a copyright problem here?).


What do you think? Will the internet save the declining world of classical music? Please comment in the form below.

One Response to “The Berliner Philharmoniker’s FIRST FULL SEASON OF live webcasts”

  • Gernot von Schultzendorff responded:

    This seems to be an offer with a very professional audio and video, and I think the price is reasonable for 33 concerts and the archive. It is a bit more expensive than my Napster Flatrate (149€ 119€ / year) and could be an very welcome complement. So I am seriously thinking about subscribing. I admit that it is the whole package which attracts me - the level of the orchestra, the conductors, the soloists, the pieces played. What I expect is a very good overview about the best contemporary classical musicians playing in live concerts.

    If (cinema) films are offered in the Internet (i.e. nobody questions that it is charged. Of course: people have to earn money, and there will be far more offers like this in very different fields. Still the best informations are in books, not in the internet. And we got used to get i.e. YouTube videos free of charge, but many of them are in questionable quality, mostly just good enough for historic documents or as appetizers.

    The internet has already demolished a lot of jobs, and before there are no commercial recordings, films and books any more in only a few years it is essential that ways are found to earn money in the internet.

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