Photographer: Laura Maraniti

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra launches MSO.LIVE

On 16 March 2020, viewers the world over tuned in to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s historic livestream performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, symbolically marking the beginning of Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown and the orchestra’s #keepthemusicgoing program. On the night of the concert, some 5,500 people tuned in live – a full house two times over, and then some. Since that time, and throughout 2020 the MSO’s digital offering – including free online concerts, workshops, education resources, and special events – received more than 2.2 million views and more than 95,000 hours of watch time from people in more than 50 countries.

Spurred on by the response to the MSO’s online programming, the orchestra fast-tracked the implementation of MSO.LIVE, its new digital concert platform and destination for audiences to consume high-fidelity video and audio experiences from anywhere in the world. MSO.LIVE launched in late 2020 with three special events – a performance of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, the MSO’s Perfect End to 2020 hosted by Eddie Perfect, and a very special symphonic performance featuring Tina Arena AM. Since then, new concerts have been uploaded, including some from the MSO’s global partners such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Photographer: Laura Maraniti

MSO.LIVE is designed to support the broader arts ecology, connecting with new and diverse audiences, supporting small to medium arts organisations and individual creative practitioners, and removing barriers to accessibility. MSO.LIVE aims also to build resilience and sustainability of the MSO and the sector by diversifying revenue streams and providing opportunities for artists and arts organisations to continue connecting with their audiences, even in the face of future global upheavals.

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