Enjoy A Spot Of Classical Music? The New Apple Music Classical App Has You Covered

By Pamela Connellan
on 1 May 2023

If you love listening to some classical music while you’re working, cooking etc – then you’ll be keen to learn that Apple Music has launched Apple Music Classical – a new standalone music streaming app which delivers the right experience for classical music lovers.

With Apple Music Classical, Apple Music subscribers can find any recording in the world’s largest classical music catalogue using a fully optimised search. They can enjoy listening to the classical music they love with high audio quality. Plus they can experience many classical favourites in a whole new way with immersive Spatial Audio.  

Apple Music Classical is available on the App Store now and is included at no extra cost with nearly all Apple Music subscriptions (not available with the Apple Music Voice Plan). The combination of Apple Music Classical and Apple Music provides a complete music experience for everyone, from longtime classical fans to first-time listeners.

Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats, explained why Apple came up with the new app: “We love music — that’s really what we’re all about — and classical music is foundational to music of all genres,” he said.

“Apple Music Classical is a dedicated app that is great for classical experts as well as anyone who is new to classical, with the largest classical music selection in the world, the very best search and browse capabilities, the most premium sound experience with Spatial Audio, and thousands of exclusive recordings. We believe this is the very best classical music streaming experience available anywhere, and for us, this is just the beginning,” Oliver added.

The world’s largest classical music catalogue

With over five million tracks, Apple Music Classical is home to the world’s largest classical music catalogue, covering the full spectrum from celebrated recordings to forgotten gems. For beginners, the hand-picked Editor’s Choice curation is a great place to start. And for those more familiar with a particular work, the app’s list of popular recordings provides the next step — and a chance to compare and contrast. As well, there are thousands of exclusive albums, including recordings by world-famous orchestras.

Search built for classical music

Classical works have multiple movements and tracks; famous pieces have hundreds of recordings with different orchestras, conductors and soloists; and many composers have their own special catalogue classifications, from Bach’s BWV to Mozart’s K.

With these complexities in mind, Apple Music Classical has redesigned search to deliver what users are looking for using all combinations of keywords, from composer and work, to opus number, conductor, artist or instrument – and even a work’s nickname. Looking up a work reveals all its recordings, plus an Editor’s Choice performance. And searching for a composer displays all available works.

An interface designed for classical

The Apple Music Classical interface ensures listeners know who and what they’re hearing, with all the information laid out: work name, orchestra, conductor, contributing artists and the year of recording. And when it comes to curating a personal library, Apple Music Classical lets listeners add albums, tracks, playlists and artists — plus classical categories such as works, composers and recordings.

The highest audio quality
Apple Music Classical features lossless audio of up to 24 bit/192 kHz throughout the service so listeners can experience the nuances of a performance. In Hi-Res Lossless mode, the sound is crisp and clear and thanks to Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, listeners can listen to recordings from the best seat in the concert hall, immersed in a 360-degree soundscape where music comes from every direction, including above.

Apple Music Classical’s Spatial Audio catalogue adds new albums each week as recordings are remastered and contemporary performances are captured in Spatial Audio.

Expert recommendations and classical insights

Apple Music Classical’s editors have created over 700 playlists to guide listeners through 800 years of music. Beginners can start with The Story of Classical audio guides, which blends commentary and selected works to introduce key composers, periods, instruments and classical terminology.

For devotees, there’s the chance to go behind the scenes of selected recordings as leading classical artists offer track-by-track audio commentary. Plus, Apple Music Classical’s hand-picked Hidden Gems highlight a selection of lesser-known works, while Composer Undiscovered playlists bring a new perspective to famous names.

Exploration made easy

Apple Music Classical’s Browse tab helps listeners explore the classical catalogue in the world, guided by their interests, from composers, instruments and periods, to conductors, orchestras and choirs, as well as classical genres such as chamber music and stage works.

New artwork
The Apple Music Classical app features new artwork, including lots of playlist covers, as well as digital portraits of many of the world’s greatest composers. Commissioned from a diverse group of artists, each image blends historical research with colour palettes and artistic references from the relevant classical period.

With the majority of these new works designed on Mac and iPad, the results bring listeners face to face with leading classical figures like Bach, Beethoven, Hildegard von Bingen, Chopin, John Dowland, Fanny Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and more.

New content

Additionally, Apple Music has partnered with some of the greatest classical institutions in the world — including the Berlin Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and the Vienna Philharmonic — to bring listeners new content. 

Apple Music is also working with some of today’s most well-known classical composers, artists and musicians to ensure the app is empowering artists as well.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma was involved in early conversations about the need for such an app, and he is delighted that listeners will have new ways to access and explore the world of classical music. “Classical music — and all of culture — is fundamentally about connection, about forging bonds of understanding across time and space,” said Yo-Yo Ma. “It’s innovations like this that make that connection possible, that give us space for our curiosity to run, to rediscover the familiar and to rejoice in the unexpected.”

Hilary Hahn said: “I’m thrilled that Apple Music is taking the initiative to set a new standard for classical music in the streaming age. I know that I can trust Apple Music’s natively high-quality uncompressed audio to convey the subtleties of my performance, my instrument and the space in which it’s played. And even a solo classical recording is a deeply collaborative process; Apple Music Classical’s extensive metadata ensures that everyone — composers, arrangers, conductors, musicians, producers, publishers and more — gets the credit they deserve.”

Jonny Greenwood said: “I’ve been working with Apple to help solve the problems of classical music streaming. They’ve come up with a really elegant set of solutions to the unique problems that hinder the search for — and collection of — digital classical music. Put simply, there’s only one recording of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’, but thousands of ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’ This first kind of search, in someone newly interested in classical music, can be so off-putting and bewildering, so I’m very excited for everyone to finally have a way into this remarkable universe of music, which is welcoming to new (and old) classical fans, and which rewards enthusiasm for music with music, directly and intuitively.”

Gordon Getty said: “Music is the focus of my life, and as a composer and supporter, I have long believed it is essential to our humanity. The advent of Apple Music Classical is an extraordinary moment in our profession. It is an exceptional streaming service that celebrates diverse artists, embraces legendary recordings and inspires curiosity in all of us. Apple has created a unique experience worthy of our passion, and I am confident it will advance the cause of music for generations to come.”

Availability: Apple Music Classical is available for download on the App Store everywhere Apple Music is offered, excluding China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan and Türkiye. Existing Apple Music subscribers can enjoy Apple Music Classical at no additional cost but it’s not available with the Apple Music Voice Plan. Apple Music Classical is available for all iPhone models running iOS 15.4 or later and Apple Music Classical for Android is coming soon. For more information, visit the Apple Music App here.

About Apple Music: Apple has played a major role in the music experience with the iPod and iTunes. Apple Music celebrates musicians, songwriters, producers, and fans with a catalogue of over 100 million songs, playlists, and artist interviews. Apple Music is available in over 165 countries and regions on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod mini, CarPlay, and online at http://music.apple.com), plus popular smart speakers, smart TVs, and Android and Windows devices.

For more information from Women Love Tech about Apple products, visit here.

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