The musicAeterna team has launched its new project: the online platform. It is the orchestra’s virtual residence of sorts which is intended to gather exclusive video and audio materials related to the musicians’ life and work. Those include recordings of the best performances and new chamber projects, lectures, interviews and personal programmes by musicAeterna members. The digital platform is supported by VTB Bank, general partner of musicAeterna. The new format of communication between the musicians and the audience will stay in existence after the lockdown is lifted.

Members of the musicAeterna orchestra and choir last gathered all in one place almost two months ago, in the middle of March. Right now, like everyone else, the musicians are undergoing self-isolation in various cities across Russia and Europe. However, this doesn’t prevent the orchestra from functioning, and it doesn’t make music go silent. MusicAeterna has launched its new project, The new platform is a digital space and a virtual concert hall, an online study room and a social network for music lovers; in its essence, it is musicAeterna’s virtual residence.

Teodor Currentzis, artistic director of musicAeterna:

— Saint Petersburg, the city where musicAeterna has found its home at Dom Radio, knows what isolation means. Now, the time has come to face ourselves; we cannot cheat out of it like we often did in normal life. From this moment on, we have to communicate with ourselves more. Perhaps something truly beautiful will come out of it. Music is our cure that helps us get involved in life. It should be playing a very special role right now. I feel that mankind — myself included — still has to understand very many things, most importantly how to become better versions of ourselves. This is what music talks to us about. Music is not about sound or concerts. Music is the way we treat each other. It only plays when we care for those around us, when we dwell on spiritual matters, when we share our deepest secrets with the world. The bond among all of us, which has emerged in this forced silence, is only getting stronger. Music is the main means of communication. Even in the strictest isolation, in the most cosmic solitude music will ensure that we all stay together.

The online platform hosts recordings of the best performances by the orchestra and choir, past and new lectures at the Modern Audience Laboratory, interviews, master classes and podcasts. Members of musicAeterna create personal projects and record chamber performances specifically for the platform. 

In May and June, recordings of several plays created by the world’s leading stage directors together with Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna will be published on the digital platform. For instance, the recording of “The Indian Queen”, a collaboration between Peter Sellars and Teodor Currentzis at Teatro Real in Madrid, will be uploaded in May. In June, another co-production by the two artists will be published: this time, it will be “La clemenza di Tito”, which opened the opera programme at Salzburg festival in 2017. The digital platform will also offer the viewers to watch “La traviata”, a collaboration between Robert Wilson and Teodor Currentzis which was dubbed “the opera season’s main event” by Russian critics in 2016. The viewings will be accompanied by documentaries on the creative process during production. 

MusicAeterna’s educational projects have gone digital, too. In late May, the first online episode of the Modern Audience Laboratory is going to take place. The Laboratory encompasses a number of educational formats: lectures, creative workshops, master classes, score analysis sessions and open rehearsals. Viewers will be able to join musicians in exploring the material which musicAeterna is currently working on, study its structure and language, discover its hidden meanings and expressive capabilities, and get in touch with the piece’s cultural and historical background. The first online episode is going to be dedicated to Alfred Schnittke. Moscow Conservatory professor Valentina Kholopova will tell viewers about the composer’s works, Saint Petersburg musicologist Joseph Raiskin will share his memories of meeting the composer, and musicAeterna’s chief chorus master Vitaly Polonsky will describe the choir’s workflow regarding Schnittke’s music. The materials are published with English subtitles.

MusicAeterna musicians record chamber performances specifically for the digital platform. At their home residence at Dom Radio in Saint Petersburg, they play music pieces from different eras, including works by contemporary composers. Viewers already have access to George Crumb’s Four nocturnes for violin and piano and John Cage’s Nocturne for violin and piano. In the near future, several new recordings will be published: Alfred Schnittke’s “Moz-Art” for two violins, “String Quartet Nr.1 «tiefenrausch»” by Marko Nikodijević, “Ave Maria” by Carlo Gesualdo, and J.S. Bach’s “Ich lasse dich nicht” motet.

The platform features weekly episodes of FM Module, a podcast by German industrial guru FM Einheit which features his past and current works along with thoughts by contemporary philosophers.

The platform’s contents are updated every 2-3 days. New forms and formats of unveiling musicAeterna’s life emerge on a regular basis. 

General partner —VTB Bank

Partnering foundation — Alma Mater Foundation

Strategic partner — Sberbank

Partner — Aksenov Family Foundation

Technical Partner — Canon

With support from Saint Petersburg administration