Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Is Now Live-Streaming Concerts for Free

While MSO is suspending all concerts with audiences for a month, it'll play some gigs behind closed doors — and live-stream them for free.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 16, 2020

With Australia banning non-essential events with more than 500 people due to COVID-19 — and mandating that everyone arriving from overseas self-isolate for 14 days, too — Melbourne's arts and cultural scene has started to go into shutdown mode. The city's major institutions have already announced temporary closures, and now the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is joining them. But musicians at the latter won't be putting down their instruments just yet.

While MSO has announced that it's suspending all concerts with audiences in attendance from Monday, March 16–Monday, April 13, it's planning to still play some gigs behind closed doors. And, it'll live-stream them for free — because, even if audiences can only watch and listen online from their couches, the music must go on.

Kicking off the series is tonight's (Monday, March 16) performance of Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade at Hamer Hall. Other live-streams are slated for MSO's Beethoven & Mendelssohn gig on Thursday, March 19 and To Bach and Back on Thursday, March 26 at this stage. It's also planning to live-stream Melbourne Ensemble and its school-focused Curriculum Concert, with dates still to be advised.

Music lovers can check out the performances via MSO's YouTube channel, with Scheherazade streaming from 7pm AEDT.

MSO has cancelled some concerts that it won't live-stream, and plans to  reschedule a number of gigs — check out the full list below:


Scheherazade, 16 March — streaming on March 16 at 7pm
Beethoven & Mendelssohn, March 19–20 — streaming at 7.30pm on Thursday, March 19
Melbourne Ensemble, March 22 — streaming date and time TBC
Curriculum Concert, March 26 — streaming date and time TBC
To Bach and Back, March 26–27 — streaming on 26 March, time TBC


Jams for Juniors, March 21
Peer Gynt, April 6
Metropolis, April 8


Ben Folds, March 22 — replacement dates TBC
Skyfall in Concert, April 2–4 — replacement dates TBC

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all public performances between Monday, March 16–Monday, April 13, but will start live-streaming select concerts from Monday, March 16. For more information — or to find out about refunds if you're a ticket holder — visit the MSO website.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Published on March 16, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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