Play On

Our concert halls may be temporarily closed and regular performances prohibited, but that’s not going to stop musicians doing what they do. All the world’s a stage, said Shakespeare, and – even in confinement – musicians everywhere are proving precisely that, swiftly and imaginatively finding new ways to share their artistry with us all online.

Simply step onto social media and you’ll be deluged with countless pop-up performances, indeed too many for us to account here. Nonetheless, on our Twitter feed @RoyalPhilSoc we’ll be sharing favourites that have particularly inspired us or that we think are worth catching. Check it out, and those we’ve featured so far are also listed below.

If you are a musician currently presenting your music in fresh ways online, or a music lover who’s found such a performance particularly inspiring, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch.

  • At home with Steven Isserlis - Classic FM streamed an exclusive living room concert with cellist Steven Isserlis and Amarins Wierdsma, violinist and former RPS beneficiary with the Barbican Quartet.
  • Panis Angelicus - Doctor Alex Aldren (who featured as one of our Intrepid Musicians in March) has recorded a charity single with Barts Choir, raising money to support NHS workers and their patients.
  • Final Flight - Recorded entirely during lockdown, the BBC Symphony Orchestra premiered Paul Thomson's cinematic new work, 'Final Flight'.
  • #MusicForHeroes - Soprano Jessie Tse and Mezzo Soprano Phoebe Haines have been live-streaming a series of concerts with guests artists in support of different charities.
  • #NYOMusicalPostcards - Musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain are uplifting our spirits in the way they know best, sharing a daily musical postcard.
  • 12 Ensemble + - A new online series from 12 Ensemble, featuring behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive artist interviews and some of their favourite footage from their archive.
  • #SCMFhome - Music in the Round are moving their entire Sheffield Chamber Music Festival online on Friday 15 to Saturday 16 May, with performances from Ensemble 60, pianist Paul Lewis, guitarist Craig Ogden and composer Gavin Bryars.
  • #PostcardsFromComposers - each day BBC Radio 3 has invited a composer to write a short solo piece for a player in one of the BBC Orchestras - and they're sublime! If you don't hear them live, find them through @BBCRadio3 on Twitter.
  • Soundabout - An inspirational story on how Oxford-based inclusive choir Soundabout have adapted to continue to support their choir members during isolation.
  • Virtual Benedetti Sessions - from 11-31 May, the Benedetti Foundation will be hosting a series of free online tutorials and learning resources for musicians of all ages and stages.
  • Gilmore Festival - the Michigan keyboard festival is presenting live online recitals by its intended guest artists including Jonathan Biss and Igor Levit.
  • Remote Orchestra - conductor Olivia Clarke has launched the Remote Orchestra, made up of 40 musicians from 15 different countries around the world.
  • Goldberg by 32 pianists- Fingertips ASBL has invited 32 pianists from around the world to perform one of Bach's 32 Goldberg Variations from their homes.
  • #ChinekeChallenge - our inaugural RPS Gamechanger Award winners Chineke! are asking Chineke! Junior musicians to research BME composers, perform their works and share practice tips whilst in lockdown.
  • #EarlyStrollSongs - composer Richard Barnard is setting tweets by writer and radio presenter Ian McMillan to music, inviting artists to perform them online.
  • Homemade percussion - young percussionist Kate Broadbent has created her own drum kit using bits and pieces found at home
  • Ashby Mayes Virtual Orchestra - one former RPS beneficiary teams up with friends from the Royal College of Music to play Beethoven's Symphony No. 2, 1st movement.
  • Anne-Amelie and Alexandre - from confinement, a teenage sister and her younger brother perform a beautiful arrangement of Debussy's La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin.
  • St John Passion from Isolation - symbolic of human resilience, Bach's St John Passion is brought to you virtually by the Oxford Bach Soloists, Positive Note and all-star singers.
  • Live from Isolation - watch the radical musicians of Manchester Collective weekly sharing their powerful music and special insight into all that they do.
  • #NYOdetoJoy - thousands of musicians across the nation joined the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain as they played Beethoven's Ode to Joy from their doorsteps.
  • #Louloubelles - award-winning soprano Louise Alder has transformed into a spell-binding a cappella chorus, singing arrangements from classical and non-classical repertoire.
  • Harpy Hour - harpist Olivia Jageurs is sharing intimate, morale-boosting concerts every Friday night on Zoom and welcomes your personal requests.
  • Keep playing and stay safe - as we all look forward to making music together again, young trumpeter Nayan encourages everyone to keep practising.
  • #MorningNotes - each morning a different musician from Seattle Symphony Orchestra shares a little music to brighten your day.
  • Igor Levit's House Concerts - broadcast live on Twitter from his own home, RPS Award-winning pianist Igor Levit is nightly sharing performances of his favourite works, in the most intimate setting.
  • CÔR-ONA! - a Facebook group of Welsh musicians and music lovers singing and sharing songs whilst in confinement.
  • #SingingClub - singer Elin Manahan is sharing daily videos of fun songs and exercises which you can join in from home.
  • Living Room Live - a cohort of young musicians including composer Freya Waley-Cohen and her violinist sister Tamsin are presenting regular lively performances from home.
  • Hedgehog - pianist Yshani Perinpanayagam sent nine isolated musicians individual parts and asked them to film themselves playing it, giving them no clues as to what it would all add up to.
  • From us, to you - the Rotterdam Philharmonic thrillingly performs the RPS ‘theme tune’ – Beethoven’s Ode to Joy – simultaneously from all their homes.
  • #coronasolfege - RPS Award-nominated soprano Héloïse Werner is setting herself a dazzling rhythmic challenge which you can try yourself at home.
  • #UriPosteJukebox - violinist Elena Urioste and pianist Tom Poster are giving daily diverse performances from their sunny living room.
  • The Kanneh-Mason family - back under one roof, star cellist Sheku and his six siblings invite us inside an extraordinary musical household.