THE SCOOP | Universal/Deutsche Grammophon Launch New High-Res Classical Music Streaming Service

Image by Rafael Zajczewski (CC0/Pixabay)

Venerable label Deutsche Grammophon has launched STAGE+, a new high resolution classical music streaming service. It joins IDAGIO, and, whenever Apple gets around to it, the successor to Primephonic in the classical streaming app niche. Deutsche Grammophon is owned by Universal Music Group.

“We are about to enter an exciting new era for streamed classical performances,” says Deutsche Grammophon’s Vice President Consumer Business, Robert Zimmermann, in a media statement. “STAGE+ will explore the limitless creative and curatorial possibilities that digital technologies have to offer to bring the creative work of DG’s artists — and beyond — closer to their audience.”

Content

What does STAGE+ have to offer? It’s based, of course, on unique access to Universal Music Group’s artist roster. The streaming service offers subscribers:

  • New repertoire, with partnerships with opera companies, orchestras, concert halls, and festivals that allow access to new performances on a weekly basis;
  • Livestreamed events from all over the world, including long form concerts and operas;
  • Opera and concert performances from the archives;
  • New and archived DG and Decca audio releases in 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos;
  • Documentaries and behind-the-scenes interviews.

What they call “optimized metadata” will enable detailed advanced searches, even to specific opera scenes, for example, and audio content will be available in Hi-Res Lossless format.

DG, founded by Emil Berliner, the inventor of the gramophone, in 1898, has partnered with Siemens and its Arts Program to create STAGE+.

“There’s an enormous appetite for great classical music content online,” comments Frank Briegmann, Chairman & CEO Universal Music Central Europe & Deutsche Grammophon in a media statement. “We’ve seen significant growth in demand for livestreamed concerts and opera performances since launching DG Stage almost two years ago. STAGE+ will transform the space for online classical music. I wish to thank our incredible team and our partner organisations for all their hard work and dedication to STAGE+. They have built something special that’s sure to delight and inspire the global classical audience.”

What’s on

One of the first festivals to be featured will be Bayreuth, including performances from over the decades, right up to the 2022 Ring cycle of last summer.

Other early offerings include:

  • Víkingur Ólafsson performing his latest album From Afar in full from Harpa, Iceland;
  • Bach’s Christmas Oratorio performed at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London;
  • Max Richter’s Voices from Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on Human Rights Day;
  • A Mahler cycle from Vienna’s Musikverein.

Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Global Classics & Jazz and Verve Label Group, welcomes the new level of outstanding audience engagement. “STAGE+ uniquely immerses the fan in a dedicated multi-dimensional classical experience of the highest quality, complementing the breadth of our repertoire presented on our partners’ services,” he said. “It offers artists the place for their live and filmed performances to sit directly alongside their studio recordings, enabling an integrated experience for classical artist discovery by devoted fans of the genre.”

The STAGE+ service can be accessed via web or mobile app, or TV.

You can find out more here.

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