To the surprise of many keen listeners, and the delight of all supporters of Australian classical musicians, ABC Classic FM this week launched ABC Classic 2. Programmed by the team behind ABC Classic FM, the talk-free sister station went live at 12pm on Wednesday 4 June 2014, and aims to introduce classical music to a new online audience.
The service will showcase ABC Classics’ extensive and growing catalogue of Australian music performance, playing classical favourites and putting names to familiar tunes. Classic 2 will provide classical music in a playlist format where audiences are demanding it – digital and mobile –a key strategic priority for ABC Radio.
The station will be a continuous stream supported by engaging composer and work background information suitable for all levels of interest and knowledge. The Classic 2 blog will entertain and inform, bringing to life the stories behind the music makers – shedding light on little known musical facts in a concise, shareable (and sometimes humorous) format. Of course, being an ABC service it will be free for the listener and free of advertisements.
The blog is managed by ABC Classic FM’s Online Editor, Angela Stengel, and a team of Classic 2 writers. The music is programmed by the Classic 2 team in consultation with ABC Classic FM’s Manager, Richard Buckham who says “We’re delighted to be launching this new service for classical music lovers and for listeners new to the pleasures of classical music. What distinguishes Classic 2 from other online classical listening is Australian performance: this new ABC music stream is a showcase of our finest classical artists. We hope that Classic 2’s wonderful collection of music, including many classical favourites, will be the best accompaniment to your day, whatever you’re doing.”
The work chosen to launch the stream was Australian composer Nigel Westlake’s Penguin Ballet from his Antarctica Suite performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Timothy Kain. Composed for a spectacular IMAX film, Westlake’s brilliant score evokes the awe, beauty and strangeness of Antarctica and its inhabitants.
Australian performing soloists to be featured on Classic 2 will include Diana Doherty, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Roger Woodward, Karin Schaupp, Anna Goldsworthy, Gerard Willems, Marshall McGuire, Nick Parnell, Sally Whitwell, Anna Goldsworthy and Simon Tedeschi.
Ensembles include the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Australian Piano Quartet, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, Queensland Philharmonia, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Australian String Quartet, Sydney Chamber Choir, Syzygy Ensemble, Australian Youth Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia, Guitar Trek, Ironwood Ensemble, Darwin Symphony Orchestra, State Opera of South Australia, Bands of the RAAF, Ensemble of the Classic Era, Johann Strauss Ensemble, Kammer Ensemble, Opera Queensland Chorus, Orchestra of the Antipodes, Queensland Pops Orchestra, Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet, Sinfonia Australis, Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir, Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players, The Raga Dolls Salon Orchestra, The Australian Classical Wind Band and the Sydney Soloists.
Listeners can tune in online via the ABC radio player at abc.net.au/classic2 or by choosing Classic 2 on the ABC Radio app.
ABC Classic 2 @abcclassic2