The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) announces an exciting Spring season of digital offerings from April 1 to July 1, which is dedicated to the late Gustave M. Hauser. CMS presents 28 digital programs, with concerts premiering on Thursday evenings at 7:30 and educational and hybrid talk-and-performance programs premiering on Monday evenings.
CMS dedicates this Spring season to the digital media pioneer Gustave M. Hauser who died at age 91 on February 14. He launched CMS’s global digital media program from Alice Tully Hall in 2014 through the Hauser Foundation, and throughout the pandemic, audiences around the world have been reaping the benefits of the extensive digital archive CMS has been able to create. Through his vision and generosity, CMS had been an early entrant into the field of high-definition concert videotaping, which left the organization well-prepared to address the digital content and know-how needed to sustain audiences during the pandemic.
David Finckel, Co-Artistic Director of CMS said, “In February of 2020 none of us could have imagined the year that was to come. When concert halls were shuttered in March, we knew that doing nothing was not an option; we needed to keep the music alive for our audiences and our musicians. We found ways to create income for our musicians, and we’re sending our work out more widely than ever before to music lovers around the world.”
Including this slate of 28 new offerings, CMS will have presented 117 digital programs since the beginning of the pandemic in March. CMS has also brought these concerts, through its Front Row: National initiative, to nearly 60 chamber music presenters around North America, who have presented or scheduled nearly 400 local streaming events to their audiences.
“We know we are reaching more people than ever,” said Wu Han, Co-Artistic Director of CMS. “We see it in the engagement numbers around our website and streaming programs.” Since March, traffic to the CMS website has more than doubled, as have visits from new users, and number of people staying on the website for longer than 30 minutes has more than tripled. A reinvigorated social media campaign to promote the programming has drawn six times as many people to the CMS website as it did during the same period last year.
Since the pandemic shuttered concert halls in March 2020, David Finckel and Wu Han have created a robust new series of Front Row digital concerts by applying their curatorial acumen to the vast CMS archive of HD video to create exciting and unusual concerts. As it has become safe to do so, they have also invited artists to record performances safely in the Rose Studio or elsewhere (the Danish String Quartet did a CMS concert from Copenhagen earlier this year) for streaming on CMS platforms.
The vast majority of CMS’s digital offerings are provided free of charge. Viewing passes are required for two series: International Quartets ($25) and Inside Chamber Music ($15).