Coronavirus: Musicians stream live concerts from home, from Chris Martin to John Legend

Artists are going to lengths to entertain their fans as live events and public gatherings are cancelled

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 17 March 2020 10:50
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Chris Martin streams mini concert from home during Coronavirus pandemic

Musicians are getting creative in order to keep their fans’ spirits up as many undergo periods of self-isolation to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Artists including John Legend and Keith Urban have been hosting concerts via Instagram livestreams, while Coldplay frontman Chris Martin launched “Solidarity Sessions”.

Country singer Keith Urban went live on Instagram with his wife, Nicole Kidman, in the background, whom he called his “audience of one”.

Martin revealed he was supposed to be spending time with the band, but members were “stuck in different countries”.

He performed a number of Coldplay’s hits as well as covers by artists including David Bowie, after getting off to a rough start when he forgot the chords to “Viva La Vida”.

The concerts were launched as part of the Sessions: Together, At Home series — an initiative launched by Global Citizen Festival (of which Martin is a curator) and the World Health Organisation.

The next musician is yet to be confirmed, although Legend asked his followers to “let me know which other artists I should pass the torch to”.

For classical music fans, the Berlin Philharmonic has opened up its digital concert hall for the next month, giving free access to hundreds of past concerts in its famous Berlin venue and the chance to watch forthcoming event, which will now be performed behind closed doors. Fans must register and redeem their vouchers before 31 March.

Vienna State Opera has also opened its archives to offer fans a different opera to watch each day, for free, via its streaming platform. Wigmore Hall has an array of chamber music concerts free to watch, as does the London Symphony Orchestra.

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Pianist Igor Levit is broadcasting nightly “House Concerts” on Twitter, while New York’s Metropolitan Opera is streaming past productions from its award-winning “Live in HD” series. Productions will be available from 11.30pm GMT for 20 hours.

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