·        International classical music management company, HarrisonParrott, has partnered with eMusic Live – a joint venture of eMusic and 7digital – to create a new live-streaming and digital content platform: Virtual Circle.

·        Virtual Circle launches on Tuesday 8 December 2020 at 7.30pm (in all available time zones) with a concert from Oslo Philharmonic celebrating the 155th anniversary of the birthday of Sibelius with the Orchestra’s Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Klaus Mäkelä.

·        Virtual Circle will provide audiences with a ‘concert look and feel’ together with in-platform promotional and commercial opportunities for artists, not offered by any other digital concert platform.

·         It will also serve as a portal into artists’ and partners’ digital worlds allowing audiences to interact with content on the page, allowing artists and audiences to connect at all stages of the performance.

·        Each concert will be streamed at a set time throughout the world in order to enhance the concert experience.

·        Virtual Circle platform is different to other streaming platforms in its ability to provide monetization and interactive opportunities for partners. Features include: in-platform high resolution download album purchase, ticket bundles, virtual CD signings, moderated chat feed, three action buttons allowing audiences to learn more about the concert, exclusive introductions to the concert, with more interactive features to come. 

·        Future concerts feature internationally renowned artists and ensembles including Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Manchester Camerata and Echo Collective, among others.

On Tuesday 8 December 2020, the world’s leading international classical music management company, HarrisonParrott will launch the first concert on their new live-streaming and digital content platform for classical music and the arts: 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 to mark the 155th anniversary since the composer’s birth. The concert will also feature Kodály’s Dances of GalántaRolf Gupta Epilogue, and Debussy‘s Danse sacrée et danse profane for harp and orchestra. Mäkelä will give a short introduction to the concert highlighting the strong relationship between Sibelius and the Oslo Philharmonic.

HarrisonParrott has partnered with eMusic Live to create this new platform for classical music and the arts. Virtual Circle 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.

There will also be a performance on Thursday 17 December 2020 by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard [pictured], in a programme first featured as part of the Gilmore Piano Festival, with works by BeethovenMessiaen, 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. Aimard has worked closely with both Messiaen and Stockhausen, and will also perform the world premiere of a piece by György Kurtág, which the composer gave to him in their most recent meeting.

Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard says: ‘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. Praised by The Guardian as ‘one of the best Messiaen interpreters around’, this is Aimard’s first recording of the composer’s most extensive, demanding and colourful piano compositions.

Other artists set to feature on Virtual Circle include, among others, the Manchester Camerata, who will be presenting three concerts in 2021; and Belgian-based neo classical ensemble Echo Collective’s digital world premiere of their album The See Within.

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 which can be found on Virtual Circle includes but is not limited to: live-streamed concerts, delayed broadcast, workshops/masterclasses, interviews, album launches and listening parties, private concerts, geo-located concerts, concerts marathons and digital festivals.  

Concerts can be streamed live or as delayed broadcast and are only available on the platform for the length of the concert, keeping true to the concert hall experience. The eMusic Live platform offers the best experience across any device, is fully mobile responsive with a set of comprehensive commercialisation features such as a ticketing system allowing for multiple types of tickets and ticket bundles, within stream merchandising, and integrated music sales that can be used to suit each event. Virtual Circle ensures that all artists are properly compensated for their content.

This news follows hot on the heels of the news announcing the partnership between Google Arts & Culture and the HarrisonParrott Foundation made last month, and clearly cements the company’s passion for innovation by allowing greater accessibility to the arts through the digital world.

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.’