Pacific Symphony filmed new performances in an empty concert hall. You can distribute them for free
The Pacific Symphony returned to the stage this year for a new series of online performances.
The ‘Symphony Thursdays’ series, filmed at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall during its COVID-19 shutdown, is available through an online service called Pacific Symphony +, and it is available online for free.
The program began with a 23-minute video of Richard Strauss’s “Serenade for 13 Winds” and Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” finale on February 25 in conjunction with the symphony’s new mobile app. While 300 live viewers followed the performance, the number of viewers after the event increased. Compared to last year, the Symphony’s YouTube page received six times as many viewers and its Facebook page received eight times as many viewers.
The next performance, March 4, with a brass and percussion section, will feature Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium” and Michael Daugherty’s “Asclepius”.
Other performances include Mozart’s “Serenata Notturna”, the finale of Gounod’s “Little Wind Symphony”, suites to Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella” and “The Firebird” and a number of Bach concertos. .
“The musicians and I are thrilled to be creating and remaking music after such a long period of not being able to perform together. I have planned the repertoire for these concerts online so that each piece can be performed by a small ensemble rather than the whole orchestra. This allows us to be properly socially distanced on stage and ensures that everyone is safe, ”Music Director Carl St. Clair said in the announcement.
In the past, orchestral concerts filmed to document the performances of the symphonic archives were not intended for wider dissemination. However, the Pacific Symphony has edited and released new videos and archives on the KCET and PBS programs in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The orchestra has performed concerts in the lounges and backyards of the “Quarantine clips“series.
“We all felt strongly that there was a need to consolidate and create an identity for all of the digital work that was emerging from the Pacific Symphony,” said John Forsyte, President and CEO. “We did a lot of video work before that, but nothing of this magnitude. As we started to get back on stage, it made sense to help the other digital assets that are sort of in our archive get more attention as we release all this new content.
A recent donation from Orange County philanthropist Janet Curci was used to update the symphony’s filming equipment (12 video cameras, microphones and high-definition monitors) to provide more angles and close-ups .
Forsyte said organizers made the decision to run the performances between 30 and 60 minutes to avoid digital fatigue. The average watch time of the first video in the series was almost nine minutes on YouTube.
“It’s kind of a controversial idea to have cameras on a classical orchestra,” Forsyte said. “Little by little our clients got used to it and really appreciate it because you can really see the levels of concentration. You are not always aware of the instruments that create a specific sound, as this is harmonically complex music stacked very vertically, but the angles of the recordings clearly show this.
The safety protocols in the making of the series followed other California orchestras and were created in consultation with the UC Irvine Public Health Department. All participants were tested for COVID-19 before filming and stayed at least 6 feet from each other on stage. Brass and wind musicians performed covered in plexiglass while St. Clair and the string players wore face masks.
the last performance in person with audience was March 8, 2020, with the American Ballet Theater. The symphony received a paycheck protection program loan of $ 2.1 million and reached an agreement with the musicians to continue paying until September. The organization has started to implement leave and pay cuts for staff of around 25% on the administrative and production side of the company.
Musicians continue to be paid and some staff on leave have been brought back full time while others have returned at reduced hours. In the absence of earned income, the symphony operates through philanthropy.
Forsyte said one of the challenges is for California to remain one of the only states that hasn’t issued reopening guidelines for arts organizations.
The goal is to expand the philanthropic reach of the symphony and reach $ 12 million in capital resources and reserves while also focusing on helping Orange County.
“We have an economic role to play, but we also have a psychological, musical and well-being role. It’s something we can’t wait to do – perform outside and in front of people. We believe that people thirst for beauty, joy and congregation … [We also want to] supporting free events, lowering ticket prices, lowering barriers to ensure that the wider community can participate. “
If you look
What: Symphonic Thursdays
When: Every Thursday until April 8 at 7 p.m.