The Czech violin virtuoso Pavel Šporcl has started a live-streamed recital series from his living room.
Nothing unusual about that. But unlike the major institutions, who can afford to stream content online for free, Pavel needs to charge viewers in order to meet his expenses. Unexpectedly, he’s in profit.
“It is, unfortunately, an obvious thing to say that this situation is very critical for so many of us in the music industry. They have closed all the theatres and concert halls, and gatherings of more than 10 people are banned,” said Šporcl.
“As with other industries, we musicians have to find ways to earn back a little of the money we are losing. And while streaming of concerts is now very established, a single musician charging viewers to watch his streamed concerts is not – but I’ve decided to do it, to see if it works. The early signs, I’m happy to say, have been very promising,” he added.
Šporcl started with a preview concert-cum-public-rehearsal last Friday, streamed directly from his own living-room. It was a great success. Two thousand people watched the concert live, with hundreds of enthusiastic comments.
“Musicians are often expected to perform for free, but we are not in a war and we all have to make some kind of living. Free streaming is not even free to the performer; it takes so much time to produce any kind of concert, to select and rehearse repertoire, to organize the logistics and, as in this case, to buy equipment one might need,” Šporcl said.
Šporcl will hold two concerts every week, the next being this Wednesday and then after that, they’ll be held every Friday and every Tuesday, with a low ticket-price of around 200 kc. Tickets are being sold from his website.
For the next one, he will include the Bach Chaconne, some of the Paganini caprices, his own composition Kde domov muj (Where Is My Homeland?, variations on the Czech national anthem).
Pavel Šporcl is a Czech violinist of global repute, a direct successor to the famous tradition of the Czech violin school. His artistic abilities and unconventional performances have won him praise and appreciation from audiences of all generations on the greatest stages of the world. He is generally considered the most popular Czech musician of our time in the classical music scene.
He is regarded as a very distinctive and powerfully artistic personality. He is the only Czech violinist of the younger generation to be named in Violin Virtuosos: From Paganini to the 21st Century, a major work by the world-renowned critic and historian Henry Roth. Following his performance of Dvořák’s violin concerto with the Czech Philharmonic at the Rudolfinum in Prague in the 2001/2002 concert season, critics lauded Pavel Šporcl as a talent the likes of which is born only once in a century.