The world’s oldest record label, Deutsche Grammophon – a division of Universal Music Group, the world leader in music-based entertainment – announces the launch of STAGE+, a ground-breaking classical music subscription service, offering livestreams, a huge video archive and new audio releases – all on one platform.
The latest milestone in classical music’s digital development, STAGE+ has been designed to place audiences at the heart of what happens on stage. Subscribers will be brought closer than ever before to Universal Music Group’s roster of world-class artists and beyond, via a wide range of content – including exclusive live premieres; long-form concert and opera programmes; music videos; documentaries and behind-the-scenes interviews; new audio releases, as well as albums from the legendary Deutsche Grammophon and Decca catalogues. This rich array of content will all be made available in the highest possible quality, including Hi-Res and Dolby Atmos.
Thanks to partnerships with leading international opera companies, orchestras, concert halls and festivals, STAGE+ will be able to showcase the best new performances every week. Bayreuth will be one of the festivals initially featured, with the most comprehensive selection of performances from several decades, ranging from the very latest (2022) Ring cycle to the legendary “Centenary Ring”. The first premiere stream on the platform sees Víkingur Ólafsson performing music from his latest album, From Afar, in full from Harpa, Iceland, and further content in the first few weeks includes Bach’s Christmas Oratorio performed at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Max Richter’s Voices from Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on Human Rights Day and a Mahler cycle from Vienna’s Musikverein. More livestreamed events and cycles will be announced in due course. The curated live and video-on-demand streams will also include Deutsche Grammophon’s pioneering Yellow Lounge classical club nights across the globe, a Rising Stars series and performances at World Heritage Sites such as the Forbidden City, Sistine Chapel or the neolithic settlement of Carnac in France.
STAGE+ represents a step change in the audio-visual presentation of classical music online. “We are about to enter an exciting new era for streamed classical performances,” says Deutsche Grammophon’s Vice President Consumer Business, Robert Zimmermann. “STAGE+ will explore the limitless creative and curatorial possibilities that digital technologies have to offer to bring the creative work of DG’s artists – and beyond – closer to their audience.”
Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Global Classics & Jazz and Verve Label Group, welcomes the new level of outstanding audience engagement. “STAGE+ uniquely immerses the fan in a dedicated multi-dimensional classical experience of the highest quality, complementing the breadth of our repertoire presented on our partners’ services.” he said. “It offers artists the place for their live and filmed performances to sit directly alongside their studio recordings, enabling an integrated experience for classical artist discovery by devoted fans of the genre.”
Optimised metadata will enable classical fans to search via title and access individual works, movements or opera scenes, with every search linked to all relevant audio and video content available for any particular artist, composer, work, venue or partner organisation. Users will be able to save favourites and download content to mobile devices for offline viewing or listening.
The platform will be available as a TV, mobile and web app to STAGE+ subscribers, with many videos offered in 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos Music. Audio content will be in Hi-Res Lossless format, virtually indistinguishable from the original studio recording. Such technological edge has also inspired the platform’s motto:
Music for the Eyes. Magic for the Ears.
This innovation marks a new chapter in the label’s history, as the world’s oldest record label, founded in 1898 in Hanover by Emil Berliner, the inventor of the gramophone. The technology company Siemens and its renowned Arts Program will be a partner and supporter of STAGE+. This ongoing relationship in the field of audiovisual streaming and cultural outreach recalls the historic role played by Siemens as a significant shareholder in the Yellow Label between 1941 and 1987.
Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, explains: “We want to revolutionise the way people access classical music and, working together with our wonderful partners and family of musicians, bring them the very best of what the art form has to offer. Our artists’ initial feedback on STAGE+ has been incredibly positive, as this is the first service where their stage life and media output can be presented comprehensively in one place. In 2023 DG will be celebrating its 125th anniversary, and STAGE+ is the latest example of the creative and innovative thinking that has been the hallmark of the label since its foundation.”
“There’s an enormous appetite for great classical music content online,” comments Frank Briegmann, Chairman & CEO Universal Music Central Europe & Deutsche Grammophon. “We’ve seen significant growth in demand for livestreamed concerts and opera performances since launching DG Stage almost two years ago. STAGE+ will transform the space for online classical music. I wish to thank our incredible team and our partner organisations for all their hard work and dedication to STAGE+. They have built something special that’s sure to delight and inspire the global classical audience.”
Upcoming exclusive livestreams and premieres:
PREMIERE: Víkingur Ólafsson performs From Afar in its entirety from Harpa (25 Nov)
PREMIERE: New Wagner Ring cycle from Bayreuth Festival 2022: Das Rheingold (28 Nov), Die Walküre (30 Nov), Siegfried (2 Dec) and Götterdämmerung (4 Dec)
PREMIERE: Max Richter’s Voices from the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (10 Dec)
LIVE: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio performed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists at St Martin-in-the-Fields (13 & 15 Dec)
PREMIERE: Christmas in Berlin with Albrecht Mayer and Hera Hyesang Park (23 Dec)
LIVE: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Andrè Schuen, Andris Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig (31 Dec)
PREMIERE: Yuja Wang presents works by Kapustin, Beethoven and Ligeti at the Vienna Konzerthaus (6 Jan)
LIVE: Mahler’s Seventh Symphony with Andris Nelsons and the Wiener Philharmoniker at the Vienna Musikverein (15 Jan)
PREMIERE: Hélène Grimaud and baritone Konstantin Krimmel perform music by Brahms and Silvestrov at the Stienitzsee Turbine Hall (21 Jan)
PREMIERE: Seong-Jin Cho plays works by Handel at the Siemens Villa in Berlin (3 Feb)
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