Have you ever been at a Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert and been so enthralled by the performance that you wished you could see and hear it again?
Now you can.
Today, the DSO is launching what it says is the country’s only on-demand archive of orchestral video performances. Intended as a perk for donors contributing at least $50 to the DSO’s annual fund, the Replay archive will allow listeners to watch performances drawn from the orchestra’s free, weekly high-definition webcasts dating back three years.
The Replay initiative adds another layer to what is already the most extensive program of digital broadcasting by an American orchestra. More than 750,000 viewers worldwide have seen the orchestra’s free webcasts since they began in 2011 in the aftermath of the six-month musicians strike.
In addition, more than 100,000 students across the country have seen the DSO’s “Classroom Edition” broadcasts that began last year.
DSO executive vice president Paul Hogle said that although the Replay archive may generate a modest amount of income, the primary benefit of the orchestra’s aggressive web presence concerns building the DSO brand — among audiences, musicians, board members, donors and the broad swath of the public that views classical music as inaccessible.
“In any city on the globe where you can get Internet service, from the tiniest town in the most remote area, to the most sophisticated big city, the Detroit Symphony can be your orchestra,” Hogle said.
Replay includes more than 100 works with new content appearing during the season as the old drops out. (The DSO’s contract with its musicians limits rebroadcasts to a three-year time frame.)
The archive is searchable by composer, conductor, performer and date, and the DSO also has created curated categories like “Living Composers,” “Made in America,” “Passionate Piano” and the like. The performances are indexed by individual pieces rather than entire concerts.
The DSO was the first orchestra to produce regular webcasts of its performances, and while other symphonies have jumped into the fray with occasional broadcasts, the DSO remains the only American ensemble to offer its entire classical series on the web for free. (One concert from each week’s subscription program is selected for broadcast.)
DSO officials said the orchestra currently boasts 5,000 donors that meet the $50 threshold. Details and a free preview are available at www.dso.org/replay.
“DSO launching archive of webcasts for on-demand viewing“, Detroit Free Press, August 12, 2015.