People around the world will now be able to experience School of Music concerts without leaving their rooms.
The School of Music has announced its decision to live stream concerts held in Morse Recital Hall of Sprague Memorial Hall. Last night’s Faculty Artists Series concert, featuring Ole Akahoshi on cello and Elizabeth Parisot on piano, was the school’s first concert available live to the world via this online video streaming technology and attracted 79 viewers, according to the stream Web site. School of Music Dean Robert Blocker said he does not know of any other institution that has this technology.
Blocker said the project reflects the school’s efforts to embrace technology. The School of Music has already been using live audio streaming with some of their concerts since last spring. Blocker said the video stream was “a natural extension” of their efforts.
“This is the crowning jewel,” Blocker said.
Both School of Music Associate Dean Michael Yaffe and spokesperson Vincent Oneppo said this project was a response to the need to accommodate the diversity of the students at the school.
“It can allow many of our foreign students the opportunity to let their families and friends at home to see their work at Yale,” Yaffe said in an e-mail.
Blocker cited the story of School of Music Professor Emeritus Keith Wilson as a success story for the audio technology in place last year: Wilson, 93, listened from California to the Bennie Goodman festival last fall on the school’s Web site.
Though Yaffe admitted there is some concern that the live streaming might decrease audience attendance, he said that the live experience is unique.
“There is no replacing a live performance, and while the stream will look and sound great on your computer, it is nothing like sitting in a hall with a live performer on stage,” Yaffe said.
Yaffe compared this to the live radio broadcasts of New York baseball games in the 1930s. Instead of game attendance decreasing, Yaffe said the exact opposite happened: attendance grew and the broadcasts added excitement and relevance to the live games, he said.
“If we do this right, I think that will be the result, too,” Yaffe added.
The “virtual concert hall” will be available in three different types of streams: high-definition video, low-resolution and audio only. Audio-only live-streams will also be available for selected performances in Woolsey Hall and Sudler Hall.