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Music for the moment: Canberra Symphony Orchestra goes digital

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Faced with an uncertain future, music invites us to be present.

Just weeks before social distancing came into effect in the ACT, we brought you the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) concert highlights for March, each a delightful musical escape.

Now, facing cancellations and closures, the CSO is going digital during COVID-19, from virtual orchestras to original works. And while iso makes escapism all the more alluring, the CSO’s online programs will offer ways to experience joy and connection in the present.

Join the virtual audience for a world premiere

Whether you’re in a packed stadium or a hole in the wall, there’s something truly special about witnessing the first performance of a new piece of music.

While stadiums and bars remain off-limits, you can still experience that moment via your laptop, with 14 brand-new Australian solo works, coming to you hot off the press from the CSO pop up studio.

Meet a musician

We’re all feeling a little extra decision fatigue right now. Once a week, let go of the proverbial aux cord and tune into a CSO Playlist, curated by a professional musician instead of an algorithm. You’ll be surprised at how epic you feel sending work emails to a symphonic soundtrack.

CSO Violinist Lucy Macourt. Credit: Martin Ollman.

Each playlist introduces you to a member of your orchestra (plus some special guests) and comes with a listening guide—like a wine tasting for your ears.

Throw a listening party

Whether you’re looking for ways to celebrate a special occasion from a safe distance, or you just want to impress your friends at Zoom drinks, CSO musicians are available for private, live-streamed recitals. Yes, they take requests. No, they won’t play Wonderwall.

Make music, together

If you thought crowd participation was off the cards, think again.

Thanks to the tech experts at the ANU School of Music, you’ll soon have the chance to join a virtual orchestra with CSO and ANU musicians, by recording and submitting your part from home. Dust off that violin—and no pyjamas please!

To be the first to know when this content becomes available, follow the CSO on Facebook or subscribe for email updates.

Feature image: CSO Violinist Lucy Macourt and audio engineer Craig Greening of the ANU School of Music in the CSO Pop Up Studio. Credit: Martin Ollman

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