This story was part of Avenue Calgary’s Weekender newsletter. For more activities, events and ideas to keep you entertained a safe distance, sign up here.
Performing arts groups were some of the first organizations to be hit with the financial toll of the COVID-19 outbreak. On Thursday, March 12, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) announced that its performances are canceled or postponed until further notice — at least until May 16.
Ticket revenue plays a key role is funding the organization, its staff and many musicians. If you hold tickets to a show, the CPO has made it possible to donate the value of your tickets back to the organization rather than receive a refund. Those who do so will receive a charitable tax receipt. (Read more: Support Calgary’s Theatre Companies By Donating Your Cancelled Show Ticket).
Meanwhile, the CPO still wants you to be able to experience the magic of the concert-going experience from the confines of social distancing. Its YouTube page hosts a series of concerts that were originally broadcast live via web-stream, including everything from country-Christmas music to Beethoven and film scores to opera, plus tidbits like behind-the-scenes interviews and performance snippets.
All concerts available from its live-stream library are available on this playlist, and we’ve highlighted two we love below.
Paul Brandt’s Country Christmas
Calgarian country icon Paul Brandt teamed up with the CPO this past December for a pair of concerts that included his own catalogue, Christmas carols and classical music. This is a great showcase of how the CPO is able to work across genre lines and find the common bonds between disparate styles. We picked Brandt’s “Alberta Bound” from his 2004 album This Time Around because of the powerful way it deals with the longing for home. The full-concert stream is available here.
Beethoven 1: Immortal Beloved
This was the first concert in a series dedicated to celebrating Beethoven during the year he would have turned 250. The program features some of Beethoven’s first-published works, plus a new commission by the CPO of a work inspired by Beethoven’s first symphony from Larysa Kuzmenko. We showcased Kuzmenko’s piece to show the relationship between classical music’s past and present. The full-concert stream is available here.