How do you inspire the next musical minds during a pandemic that has prevented live music? Central Bedfordshire’s Inspiring Music & the Bath Phil have the answer: Orchestras in Context, a new digital resource for the classroom and home.

The pandemic has made it near-impossible for music students to experience live classical concerts, which are vital for their development.

So that A/AS Level students don’t miss out on live concerts, Inspiring Music commissioned Bath Phil to bring to life the great musical minds from the 20th and 21st centuries. All performances will be available to stream at home or in classrooms.

Recorded live by professional musicians and a socially distanced chamber orchestra, Orchestras in Context: The Set Works Sessions are a set of three online broadcasts and accompanying lesson plans.

These online sessions provide an in-depth, user-friendly contextualisation of them, against wider orchestral listening examples.

The three performance include excerpts from:

  • An English Sound (the New & the Old): Ralph Vaughan Williams, On Wenlock Edge
  • A Myriad of French Colours & Timbres: Debussy, Estampes
  • Flowers, Forests, Dreams & Cellos: Saariaho, Petals

Charlotte Payne, music director, Inspiring Music, said:

“This is a great opportunity to be able to work with professionals to create a resource that will be so useful to students, particularly when they haven’t been able to hear live music for such a long time.”

Jason Thornton, music director of Bath Philharmonia said:

“We want to bring the music to life so that students can understand it from the inside out. Students will be able to watch our musicians perform and enthusiastically discuss the music and the context in which it was written.”

Orchestras in Context will be released nationally on 19 April 2021. You can find out more about the resources and purchase licenses at Orchestras in Context.