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Wigmore Hall’s deal with Sky Arts is ‘a first step’ to greater broadcasting possibilities

- 8 August 2013

A newly announced deal which the Wigmore Hall has signed with Sky Arts 2 for broadcast of seven concerts recorded live in HD presages plans for the venue to relay events to a global audience.

John Gilhooly: ‘Sky is just a starting point and this is a way of testing what sort of digital audience is out there.’ Photo: © Ben Ealovega

John Gilhooly: ‘Sky is just a starting point and this is a way of testing what sort of digital audience is out there.’
Photo: © Ben Ealovega

John Gilhooly, Wigmore Hall’s director and executive producer of the initial series, stressed that the venue had retained rights to the video recordings and was looking to license the content to other broadcasters as well as begin its own streaming service.

‘We are talking to other European broadcasters about broadcasting the series and it is something we could stream ourselves in due course,’ he said. ‘Sky is just a starting point and this is a way of testing what sort of digital audience is out there.’

While Sky Arts 2 has a maximum weekly audience of about a million, Mr Gilhooly believes there are many more viewers eager to see and hear performances by artists of the calibre the venue attracts.

He said the recordings would use two or three cameras and, although the audience in hall would be forewarned of their presence, he doubted the recording process would spoil the live experience. ‘The technology is more advanced now than when we tried this 10 years ago. It is so unobtrusive that even I don’t notice it.’

While Sky will broadcast the concerts as one-hour programmes under the title Live from the Wigmore Hall, he envisaged the venue ultimately streaming concerts weekly in full, supplemented by interviews.

‘This is a first step. We will record concerts next year. We have a very good studio at the moment and we want to enhance that and create a very good editing suite so we can stream pre-concert talks and interviews from any part of the building.’

Mr Gilhooly sees the venture as an extension of its Wignore Hall Live CD label.

He said no decision had been taken on whether the streaming service would be free or subscription-based: ‘Probably a mixture. I’m looking very carefully at the business plans used in Berlin and Amsterdam.’

‘Every arts organisation can now be its own broadcaster. The possibilities are endless.’

 

The Sky Arts series

Monday 12 August 2013

Marc-André Hamelin piano

Brahms Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor Op. 5

Includes an interview with Marc-André Hamelin about the sonata

 

Monday 19 August 2013

Takács Quartet; Ralph Kirschbaum cello

Schubert String Quintet in C D956

Includes an interview with violinist Edward Dusinberre and cellist András Fejér about the work

 

Monday 26 August 2013

Sarah Connolly mezzo-soprano; Malcolm Martineau piano

Programme includes a selection of French songs and an interview with Sarah Connolly and Malcolm Martineau

 

Monday 2 September 2013

Iestyn Davies countertenor; Thomas Dunford lute; Jonathan Manson viol 

Programme includes songs by Johnson and Dowland, and an interview with Iestyn Davies

 

Monday 9 September 2013

Takács Quartet

Beethoven String Quartet in C# minor Op. 131

Includes an interview with violinist Edward Dusinberre and cellist András Fejér about the work

 

Monday 16 September 2013

Stile Antico; Fretwork

Programme includes works by Byrd for the Feast of Corpus Christi

 

Monday 23 September 2013

Ailish Tynan soprano; Sarah Connolly mezzo-soprano; Mark Padmore tenor; Ben Johnson tenor; Robin Tritschler tenor; Christopher Maltman baritone; Benjamin Appl baritone;

Graham Johnson piano; Singers from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Programme includes a selection of Schubert songs for solo and ensemble singers, and an interview on Schubert with Graham Johnson, coinciding with the launch of the pianist’s three volume book on the composer

 

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