CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today launched Apple Music Classical, a brand-new standalone music streaming app designed to deliver the listening experience classical music lovers deserve. With Apple Music Classical, Apple Music subscribers can easily find any recording in the world’s largest classical music catalog with fully optimized search; enjoy the highest audio quality available and experience many classical favorites in a whole new way with immersive Spatial Audio; browse expertly curated playlists, insightful composer biographies, and descriptions of thousands of works; and so much more. Apple Music Classical is available on the App Store beginning today and is included at no extra cost with nearly all Apple Music subscriptions. The combination of Apple Music Classical and Apple Music provides a complete music experience for everyone, from longtime classical fans to first-time listeners, and everyone in between.
“We love music — that’s really what we’re all about — and classical music is foundational to music of all genres,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “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.”
The World’s Largest Classical Music Catalog
With over 5 million tracks, Apple Music Classical is home to the world’s largest classical music catalog, covering the whole 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 perfect next step — and an enjoyable chance to compare and contrast. Apple Music Classical also features 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 catalog classifications, from Bach’s BWV to Mozart’s K. With these complexities in mind, Apple Music Classical has redesigned search to instantly deliver exactly 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 always know who and what they’re hearing, with everything laid out at a glance: work name, orchestra, conductor, contributing artists, and even year of recording. And when it comes to curating a personal library, Apple Music Classical lets listeners add more than just albums, tracks, playlists, and artists — it also supports uniquely 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 every performance. In Hi-Res Lossless mode, sound is so astoundingly crisp and clear that each note feels close enough to touch. And thanks to revolutionary Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, listeners can enjoy thousands of 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 catalog adds new albums every week as legendary 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, and more will be added. Beginners can start with The Story of Classical audio guides, which blend expert 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, every week, 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 largest classical catalog 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. With so many ways to explore, there are limitless possibilities for finding new favorites.
Exclusive New Artwork
Apple Music Classical listeners will also enjoy exclusive brand-new artwork, including hundreds of playlist covers, as well as unique, high-resolution digital portraits for many of the world’s greatest composers. Commissioned from a diverse group of artists, each image blends historical research with color palettes and artistic references from the relevant classical period. With the majority of these new works designed on Mac and iPad, the results display an attention to detail, bringing listeners face to face with leading classical figures like Bach, Beethoven, Hildegard von Bingen, Chopin, John Dowland, Fanny Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and so many others unlike ever before.
Additionally, Apple Music has partnered with many 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 Apple Music Classical listeners new, unique, and exclusive content and recordings at launch and beyond. Apple Music Classical will also host several live orchestral performances featuring a few of these incredible partners at Apple Store locations around the world as part of the Today at Apple programming beginning in March 2023. To sign up for Today at Apple events, visit apple.com/today.
Apple Music is also working closely with some of today’s most renowned classical composers, artists, and musicians to ensure that the app is empowering artists and engaging classical music lovers all over the world.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma was involved in early conversations about the need for such an app, and 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.”
“I’m thrilled that Apple Music is taking the initiative to set a new standard for classical music in the streaming age,” said Hilary Hahn. “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.”
“I’ve been working with Apple to help solve the problems of classical music streaming,” said Jonny Greenwood. “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.”
“Music is the focus of my life, and as a composer and supporter, I have long believed it is essential to our humanity,” said Gordon P. Getty. “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.”