Why over a million people are livestreaming an Auckland orchestra

Over one million people from across the world have viewed Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s (APO) recent livestream series.

The APO Encore Livestreams take place every Thursday evening at 8pm (NZST). While the orchestra has been live streaming its concerts for many years, like many organisations, in recent weeks the APO has turned its attention to delivering online concerts and activities – including for kids – to keep people entertained, uplifted and engaged during lockdown.

We asked APO CEO Barbara Glaser about the benefits of classical music. She says “it is universally recognised that classical music can have positive effects on well-being for people of all ages. In these uncertain times listening to your favourite pieces by Mozart, Brahms or Beethoven, for example, can reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body, helping you sleep and supporting your mental health.

“A recent study found that 35% of the global population listen to classical music. Streaming is playing a key role in the growth of audiences. Young people are being introduced to classical music through ‘mood-based’ playlists and then seeking out opportunities to experience more. It is heartening to see this reflected in the age range and viewing numbers for the APO’s weekly livestreams and know that by sharing beautiful music we can spread a bit of calm in these trying times.

The APO is delighted with the interest of their online activities. While they are feverishly keen to get back together to make music and perform in concert halls, “a wonderful surprise of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the digital explosion in the arts.”

“We will be reviewing our online strategies and activities into the future as it has allowed us to engage a wider audience than ever before and also bring wider profiles to some of our musicians. In the immediate future, as we are able to move down the Levels, we’re looking to record new content with musicians – positioned safe distances from each other – in the Town Hall. We look forward to sharing that with our brilliantly engaged audiences via digital channels.”

For further information on the livestreams, please visit the APO website or Facebook page.

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