Press Room offers summer special – rent its most popular videos

The profile of has never been higher, with its webcast of the New York Philharmonic’s Philharmonic 360 event earlier this month a tremendous success. The Philadelphia Inquirer declared: “Besides being a logistical feat, the project had true event status in a city where even everyday life can be an event.” More than ever, classical music lovers have reason to make visiting the site an habitual pleasure, as all content on including their most popular concerts, operas, documentaries and archival treasures– are available for rental, for just $3.99-$4.99 until September 15. See this array of the most viewed programs on Also, for the sixth year running, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland can be enjoyed by viewers the world over for free via, with 24 events webcast live this month and next.
There are three ways to enjoy the wealth of classical programming on free streaming of major live events, such as Philharmonic 360 and the Verbier Festival; a paid membership that gives a subscriber unlimited access to the site’s extensive pay-per-view library; and, in a new feature, non-member rental of individual titles. With this new rental feature, each title can be activated up to 30 days after purchase and the rental will then be available for viewing for 48 hours after activation. Videos from can be watched with premium audio and video quality on tablets and mobile devices, as well as via a computer. The free app for iPads, iPhones and Android was named one of the top five apps for classical music by WQXR, New York’s classical music station.
Available for rental now on – each title just $3.99-$4.99 until September 15 – are such new opera offerings as Handel’s Tamerlano starring Plácido Domingo, Purcell’s Fairy Queen led by William Christie and Verdi’s Aida with Daniela Dessì from Barcelona, plus great concerts featuring the likes of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 conducted by Valery Gergiev and Yuja Wang playing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto. The archival performances include Martha Argerich performing Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto from 1971, as well as Maria Callas in Parisian recitals from 1958 and 1965. The documentaries available for rental include Martha Argerich: Evening Talks and Yehudi Menuhin in Hollywood.
Until August 5, the 19th annual Verbier Festival will be available live on in partnership with Rolex. The 24 live concerts offer a “Who’s Who” in classical music, including such soloists as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Khatia Buniatshvili, Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, René Pape, Christian Tetzlaff, Alexandre Tharaud, Rolando Villazón and Yuja Wang. The Verbier Festival Orchestra will be conducted by music director Charles Dutoit, as well as Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Paul McCreesh and Marc Minkowski. Performances of operas by Debussy and Mozart are part of the lineup, as are such exciting world-music artists as Angélique Kidjo and Roby Lakatos.
Philharmonic 360 marked a milestone for its first official webcast of an American orchestra. The New York Philharmonic performed a spectacular program of spatial music from Mozart and Ives to Boulez and Stockhausen in the vast landmark of the Park Avenue Armory – a venue the Financial Times described as “the playground for artists with outsized imaginations.” The reviews were universally warm, with such critics as Alex Ross of The New Yorker especially enthused; he declared it to be “Gilbert’s boldest venture to date, harking back to the most experimental period in the orchestra’s history, the years of Bernstein and Boulez. . . It [included] the most enchanting rendition of this twentieth-century classic [The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives] I have ever heard – an uncanny approximation of the natural sublime.” Philharmonic 360 is still available for free streaming on
Critical praise accrues to with each passing month. The Toronto Star called the site “a seismic shift in the world of classical music,” and The Baltimore Sun said: “This is an amazing site for lovers of classical music.” Alex Ross said on his blog, The Rest Is Noise, that “the hits keep coming at,” while offering “treasures aplenty” was how Gramophone editor-in-chief James Jolly put it, naming as one of the Web’s best classical experiences.
Since its official launch in May 2008, has gained international recognition, bringing together a community of music and arts lovers from 182 countries – online viewers who have watched over 12 million videos to date. The site currently averages more than 80,000 individual visitors each month. In addition to offering live concert hall events that music lovers can experience on their computers and entertainment systems, now offers a free application (available at the Apple App Store and for the Android) that makes it possible to experience world-class artistry on iPads, iPhones and the Android.
One of the biggest successes to date at has been the Webcast of a Lucerne Festival concert featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic that has been watched more than 347,500 times (live and on-demand) by visitors from 150 countries. Other recent popular offerings from include the New York Philharmonic’s  “Philharmonic 360” concert conducted by Alan Gilbert, Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition Final Round at Beijing’s NCPA, the Berlin Philharmonic summer concert at the Waldbühne in Berlin, Renée Fleming in Ariadne auf Naxos at Baden-Baden Festival and Rossini’s Otello starring Cecilia Bartoli.
Building on the success of webcasts from the Verbier Festival in 2007, has offered high-definition webcasts from many other leading festivals, including Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Denis, Aspen, Glyndebourne, Salzburg and Lucerne; such Parisian venues as the Opéra National de Paris, Auditorium du Louvre, Cité de la Musique and Salle Pleyel; and from Milan’s famed La Scala and Beijing’s NCPA. Many operas and concerts performed by the world’s top artists and orchestras have been webcast as live events and later as video-on-demand (VOD) for a limited time – all available for free. The list of artists presented at is a “who’s who” of today’s stars, including Claudio Abbado, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Anna Netrebko, Maurizio Pollini, Thomas Quasthoff and Simon Rattle. Among the featured orchestras are such renowned ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
In addition to webcasts of more than 100 live concerts each year, has partnered with the world’s top artists and music institutions to offer subscriptions that give music lovers the opportunity to watch more than 1,000 VOD programs. They include concerts, operas, recitals, documentaries, master classes, artist portraits and archival material by such legendary musicians as Leonard Bernstein, Maria Callas, Glenn Gould, Herbert von Karajan, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubinstein, Georg Solti and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, as well as such leading film directors as Bruno Monsaingeon, Paul Smaczny and Frank Scheffer. Recently, added reference opera productions to its library, including Don Carlo starring Rolando Villazón at the Royal Opera House and The Fairy Queen in Glyndebourne conducted by William Christie; also new to the library are archive performances by Van Cliburn.
Watch concerts on the iPhone with the free App.

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