“New normal” is probably the most overused phrase of the year, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Case in point: The Stamford Symphony Channel. Before the pandemic hit, people used to attend classical music performances in concert halls. Under the new normal, however, rich music experiences are often delivered via digital media.

The difference is not subtle. The COVID-19 crisis forced The Stamford Symphony and Accordia to reimagine how to continue performing for their audience. Over the last several months, the effort went from offering rich digital content through the newly created Stamford Symphony Channel to streaming a fully interactive annual gala. And the community has noticed.

“It was crucial to act quickly,” said Vanya Todorovic, Accordia Group’s Chief Operating Officer. “We partnered with Symphony to help them pivot from in-person to online and got the Stamford Symphony Channel up and running within weeks.”

As a proud sponsor of the Symphony, Accordia designed and implemented the platform that supports the new Stamford Symphony Channel including streaming of their Annual Gala Concert and Fundraiser that was held virtually on October 24.

Why We Sponsor the Stamford Symphony

Accordia was introduced to Symphony two years ago and quickly became the firm’s technology partner and one of their main contributors. “It was the perfect partnership,” said Vanya Todorovic, “because we strongly believe in Symphony’s vision that enduring cultural institutions differentiate a great city from a good one and can act as a catalyst to building a vibrant community.”

The Stamford Symphony’s Digital Journey

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, the Symphony’s leadership had to adjust quickly and figure out a format in which they could continue playing music and remain an active and valuable contributor to the Fairfield community.

“Our experience from over 20 years of building scalable enterprise solutions for the financial industry, where we often have to implement agile and innovative technology solutions quickly, helped us tremendously to respond to the challenges faced by the Symphony”, Vanya Todorovic explained.

Today, StamfordSymphony.org and the Stamford Symphony Channel are more than blogs and videos of musical performances. They present not only a well-rounded, classical music channel, but also a flexible, interactive platform that facilitates communication and builds audience engagement. The Symphony’s new online presence reflects what their audience wants: solo and town-hall style events, as well as insights on the musicians’ lives beyond their music, such as their hobbies, cooking and all the things they do when they are not on stage.

Looking into the Future

The pandemic has forced significant changes in our lives, some of which are here to stay. To be sure, in-person gatherings will resume, and concert halls will reopen and fill up, as will offices, restaurants and arenas. However, as music director Michael Stern noted, the Symphony’s digital channel will be more vital than ever when performances return to the Palace Theater.

In an interview with WSHU’s Classical Music with Kate Remington program, Michael Stern said that the Symphony’s new web site provides a wealth of information on music performances as well as logistical and analytical data. Moreover, the channel allows people to gain insight and perspective prior to attending a performance. “And when we come back to physical performances, the Stamford Symphony Channel will have reinvented what it means to be a contemporary symphony orchestra in large part because we leveraged technology,” said Russell Jones, the Stamford Symphony’s CEO.