has arrived at U of T! has arrived at U of T!

For those who are not familiar with this electronic resource, is a classical music video streaming database. It currently offers over 1450 titles in categories such as opera, dance, concert, artist portraits, documentaries, etc. In addition, it broadcasts 100 live performances each year—a percentage of these live events are archived for future access. From a business standpoint, I consider’s model to be truly revolutionary. While large music enterprises such as Metropolitan Opera or Berlin Philharmonic have been providing similar subscription services by streaming their own productions, has been covering a wide range of events from a variety of musical and cultural institutions in several continents. A recital in the main lobby of the Louvre, a chamber orchestra concert high in the Swiss Alps or the Operalia competition from Los Angeles are only a few examples illustrating the international coverage of this electronic resource.

I consider myself among the early users of I registered for a personal account in 2008 and have since followed their progress and benefited from their offerings. It has been reassuring to witness the improvements in usability and interface of over the past few years. Searching their database, which proved to be difficult and unreliable at the beginning, has now become much easier. The audio/visual quality is exceptional and can be adjusted manually or automatically to cater to a variety of Internet connection bandwidths. In terms of coverage, provides access to a large and growing number of concerts, festivals, and international competitions. The newly added educational section has more than 100 masterclasses and educational videos that could be of particular interest to students majoring in performance or music education.

I uploaded their mobile app on my iPhone earlier this year. The app gives access to their entire catalogue and sends notifications (should you turn them on) about their live broadcasts. A couple of months ago, one of these pop-up notifications announced the beginning of the live coverage of Der Rosenkavalier as part of the Salzburg music festival. So here I was, sitting in my office in Toronto and watching — live from Salzburg, Austria — Franz Welser-Möst leading the Vienna Philharmonic and a wonderful cast of singers including Sophie Koch singing the role of Octavian. The famous horn calls in the overture, the ebb and flow of the strings, and the clear nuances of the sung phrases gave a convincing impression that I was part of a new musical experience.

To conclude, I would like to draw your attention to a series of live broadcasts from the Carnegie Hall. In addition to their New York concerts, the Mutter Virtuosi and the Kavakos-Wang duo will perform in Toronto this November. If you are busy writing papers or preparing for final assignments, consider tuning in to and enjoy all or a selection of the pieces these artists are performing as part of their current concert tours.

NOV. 18, 2014, 8 P.M.

NOV. 22, 2014, 8 P.M.


DEC. 9, 2014, 8 P.M.

Written by: Houman Behzadi, Music Collection Development Librarian