International classical music management company HarrisonParrott are set to launch the first concert on their new livestreaming and digital content platform for classical musicians and the arts on Tuesday December 8.
Christened Virtual Circle, the launch concert will feature the Oslo Philharmonic and their chief conductor and artistic director Klaus Mäkelä in a performance of Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No.1. The concert will also feature Kodály’s Dances of Galánta, Rolf Gupta Epilogue, and Debussy's Danse Sacrée Et Danse Profane for harp and orchestra. Mäkelä will give a short introduction to the concert.
HarrisonParrott partnered with eMusic Live to create Virtual Circle. An official press release stated that the new platform will “not only provide audiences with a ‘concert look and feel’ with engaging interactive features, but also in-platform promotional opportunities for artists, something which is not offered by any other digital concert platforms, these include high resolution album downloads, ticket bundles, and action buttons directing audiences to additional content.”
The platform is fully customisable for each performance giving artists the opportunity to create a unique setting for audiences, such as adding their logo at the top of the page, bespoke background setting, ticket bundles to promote merchandise, and featured ‘call-to-action’ buttons to direct audiences to content relevant to the artists and performance such as YouTube pages, merchandise, or websites.
Example content includes live-streamed concerts, delayed broadcast, workshops/masterclasses, interviews, album launches and listening parties, private concerts, geo-located concerts, concerts marathons and digital festivals.
Speaking about the launch, co-founder and executive chairman of HarrisonParrott Ltd, Jasper Parrott, said: “During these challenging times, we have learnt so much about how to make the most of the difficulties and changes that have been forced upon us by Covid. We are therefore all very excited about the launch of Virtual Circle which is part of a long-term strategic vision to build a digital platform for our artists, for labels, and for our partners in the wider arts world which will present and monetise the best in the digital content. We are committed to ensuring that the content we offer will always be of high quality and it will be carefully curated to ensure innovative and creative performances. Our plan is to customise each programme for the special purposes of each partner – definitely not a 'one size fits all' concept but one which is for and about the artist and partner. In due course, we look forward to expanding our offering by investing in our own productions, and most importantly, we want to challenge ourselves and our collaborators in elevating the participatory experience for widely diverse audiences around the world through the development of interactive features which will heighten their experience and bring them closer to the artists and the performances.”
There will also be a performance on Thursday December 17 by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, in a programme first featured as part of the Gilmore Piano Festival, with works by Beethoven, Messiaen and Stockhausen. Aimard will end the concert with a talk about the special insights that are brought to both the music and the artist’s performance by working directly with the composer.
Speaking about the performance, Pierre-Laurent Aimard said: "I am delighted that my recital for Gilmore Festival will be one of the opening concerts on HarrisonParrott’s new digital platform Virtual Circle. It is so important that we keep music in our lives and where we are not able to do this in live concerts, it is wonderful to be able to share the concert experience with a global audience."
Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Pentatone album recording of Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux will be available for high resolution purchase download on the platform.
Other artists set to feature on Virtual Circle include the Manchester Camerata, who will be presenting three concerts in 2021; and Echo Collective’s digital world premiere of their album The See Within.
The launch of Virtual Circle follows the new partnership between Google Arts & Culture and the HarrisonParrott Foundation last month.