There is a growing paradox in today’s world of classical music: never before have there been as many high-quality classical musicians offering their music to the world, yet their followers seem to find it more and more difficult to hear the performances they crave. While the world grows ever more technologically sophisticated it becomes increasingly difficult for musicians to record the music they yearn to perform – and even when they do, it’s far from certain that their followers will discover it. Access to information should be a blessing, but too much can be overwhelming.
The primary obstacle for classical musicians is quite clear; they’re unable to make and release a recording simply because they feel ready to do so. Record companies fear artistic cannibalism so they release as few versions of the same piece as possible. Consequently, once an artist has recorded a musical work they can forget about recording it again; market forces trump artistic impulses.
This problem presents a challenge to everyone interested in music and a solution needs to be found.
The ContraClassics concept was conceived by Norwegian cellist Øystein Birkeland who, together with an international group of similarly resourceful and dedicated collaborators, has created the current membership-based platform. ContraClassics offers access to a substantial number of historic recordings from the Biddulph Record label alongside a growing catalogue of recordings by newcomers and today’s stars.
ContraClassics is dedicated to the work of the living musician and is primarily driven by the growth of classical music and its repertoire.