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Streaming music online, from beyond the 585


By now musicians and music lovers alike have gotten the memo that watching and listening to live-streaming performances and other concert presentations while lounging in your pajama pants is an essential activity. And the Rochester music community has responded in a big way, with more online concerts in the pipeline.
Beyond the confines of our region, there’s plenty of other worthwhile music content being made available as well, free of charge. So as you’re staying in and staying safe, here are several options to peruse, from pop and rock to classical and opera.

Chris Thile presents “Live from Home”

For those of you who are desperately missing the live concert series “Live from Here,” hosted by mandolin phenom Chris Thile and produced by American Public Media: Don’t worry; Thile’s got you covered. Ever the affable host, Thile now hosts “Live from Home,” a series of mini-concert videos featuring himself and other musician friends performing from home. Each artist who submits a video is then encouraged to nominate several more, so there should be no shortage of life-affirming, powerhouse music from the likes of Aoife O’Donovan, Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive, and other top-notch songwriters.

The Metropolitan Opera’s Nightly Opera Stream

While The Metropolitan Opera has closed its physical doors at Lincoln Center for the time being, its virtual doors are wide open. Each evening, a different opera from The Met’s “Live in HD” series is given an encore presentation, and made available from 7:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. the following evening. If you love yourself some leitmotifs, it’s currently Wagner week, and future presentations feature operas by such wide-ranging and beloved composers as Bizet, Rossini, Verdi, Poulenc, and contemporary composer John Adams.

Austin City Limits

Arguably no other TV series featuring live concerts has been as relevant and vital as PBS’s Austin City Limits. Perhaps we need it now more than ever. Select episodes from ACL Season 45, as well as the entire slate of concerts from Seasons 43 and 44, are now available online. The artist lineup speaks for itself: Billie Eilish, Vampire Weekend, Janelle Monae, The Raconteurs, Gary Clark Jr., Willie Nelson, St. Vincent...the list just keeps going.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

The Met isn’t the only Lincoln Center resident making its music available to everyone at home. An added bonus is that there are several different playlists from which to choose, ranging from highlights of the 2018-19 season, Baroque music, and Beethoven’s string quartets to Russian compositions, vocal music, and modern works. For those who love chamber music, this is essential listening and viewing. And if you enjoy nerding out with in-depth lectures and commentary about the compositions being performed, there’s plenty of that in the mix as well.

Beth Morrison Projects’ Opera of the Week

The New York City-based opera impresario Beth Morrison has been electrifying the contemporary opera landscape for several years now, with cutting-edge music dramas written by some of the most important young opera composers (Missy Mazzoli, David T. Little, and Du Yun among them), and sharp, multimedia-infused productions to match. At the Beth Morrison Projects homepage, viewers can take in a new production each week. Last week showcased Little’s appropriately apocalyptic “Dog Days,” while “Song from the Uproar,” a biographical opera about the enigmatic, early-20th century explorer Isabelle Eberhardt. Whether you’re an opera buff or just plain curious, this site is worth visiting.

Paste Magazine’s “Live Music at Home”

Paste Magazine has been a staple for music journalism since the early 2000s. And while it is no longer a print publication, the monthly music and cultural beacon is still going strong online. For all those who are socially distancing right now, Paste’s website has a choice selection of concert videos available for your viewing pleasure, including classic concerts by Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen. If you’re in the mood for vintage live music, these shows should satisfy.

Daniel J. Kushner is CITY’s music editor. He can be reached at