in: News & Features

June 7, 2012

75 Days of Streaming from the BSO


As a major component of the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Tanglewood, the BSO will begin a program of streaming and then selling recordings of historic performances from its extensive archives. Beginning on June 20th and for each of the 75 days thereafter, a new performance will be available for 24 hours of free listening on the BSO’s website here. After the first day, one may download said performance to one’s own computer for a fee. The BSO apparently hopes to monetize its audio archives through this exclusive offering, a tantalizing project that many in the broadcast community are watching carefully.

Great care on the part of a select committee went into choosing the most worthy examples from the BSO’s dauntingly large 75-year recorded history. Sound quality may vary, but performances will all be of the highest level. The BSO website will also offer related photos and program notes, written by the distinguished former Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer, to place each work in a meaningful context.

BSO Artistic Administrator Tony Fogg describes the section process in his very interesting essay here.

The BSO further notes, “The repertoire for the 75 streams has been chosen from a vast array of programs and artists and will feature many of the greatest conductors, composers, and performers of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, many of whom went on to have major careers and perform in the world’s most prestigious concert halls and opera houses.  The Boston Symphony Orchestra is grateful to the dozens of conductors, instrumentalists, and singers, who have generously allowed their performances to be included in this project.”

The complete list is here.

Beginning with opening night on July 6th, this summer’s Tanglewood concerts may be heard live on Classical New England’s network of radio stations. These broadcasts, produced by 99.5 Classical New England (CNE), will then be disseminated as webcasts for the 365 subsequent days. The BSO will similarly stream those concerts on its own BSO Media Center for the same duration. There has further been talk about “high-bit-rate streaming” for BSO broadcasts from the CNE site. Whether the BSO will match this offering is as yet unknown. But it must be acknowledged that classical listeners are to be rewarded with an amazing array of content this summer.


  1. Whatever happened to the BSO’s Digital Media subscription program?  The subscription entitled you to all new music releases.



    Comment by Mark Lutton — June 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm

  2. *Internet Radio listeners:  WGBH broadcasts a continuous stream of BSO live performances and Brian Bell “The BSO on Record” programs.


    Comment by Mark Lutton — June 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm

  3. Thanks, Lee. That list is unavailable on the BSO site, nor could Symphony Hall direct me to it.

    Comment by clarkjohnsen — June 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm

  4. *** Mark Lutton wrote: Whatever happened to the BSO’s Digital Media subscription program? The subscription entitled you to all new music releases.

    An excellent point Mark. I even forgot about it. Remain that the Digital Media subscription was from a few years back when BSO made 4 in 88kHz available. It was an excellent move, good quality and inexpensive. At that time BSO proposed to pay little more with promise to make any future releases available free for all Digital Media subscription. Over the next couple years they released only one new program at 88kHz – it was some kind of stupid semi-patriotic songs that Red Sucks hoodlums recite before chewing hot dogs and drinking beer at Fenway. Now, they released the Tanglewood program, reportedly at 88kHz, and Mark Lutton did ask the legitimate question: will the Tanglewood recording are available under the Digital Media subscription program?

    I personally would like also to know how they master those recordings. The recordings are available in 24/88, 16/44 and MP3 format. What format did they dap the tape? Was it 24/88 (or higher) and he lower rates are just downsapling from there or it was any other scenario. It would be nice to know who did it for BSO. Was it the AudioMirror or it was somebody else? I ask because I if I would like to buy some of them I would like to know the technical heritage of those recordings.

    Comment by Romy The Cat — June 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

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