The top 10 classical music podcasts

by | Last updated Jun 14, 2017 | Published on May 17, 2017 | Miscellaneous | 0 comments

Podcasts have been around for years now: radio stations adopted them as a great way for the listeners to enjoy their shows on demand. Parallel to that, more and more websites have started to implement them as a way to engage with their audience. With the capillary distribution of smartphones, this medium has become increasingly popular and nowadays one can find a podcast on virtually any topic.

Classical music is somewhat of a niche, that we all know, so it doesn’t surprise that podcasts on this subject made their appearance a little later than the ones on more popular matters. However, luckily, a growing number of classical music podcasts can be found on the net today: some of them focus on specific instruments while others target a broader audience.

Podcasts have been around for years now: radio stations adopted them as a great way for the listeners to enjoy their shows on demand. Parallel to that, more and more websites have started to implement them as a way to engage with their audience. With the capillary distribution of smartphones, this medium has become increasingly popular and nowadays one can find a podcast on virtually any topic.

Classical music is somewhat of a niche, that we all know, so it doesn’t surprise that podcasts on this subject made their appearance a little later than the ones on more popular matters. However, luckily, a growing number of classical music podcasts can be found on the net today: some of them focus on specific instruments while others target a broader audience.

Classical music podcasts: the list

 

So, here’s the list of the some of the best classical music podcasts around: you can browse to their website or go directly to their iTunes page. For non-Apple users, look for the name of the show in your favorite podcast app. The order is purely alphabetical.

The BBC Music Magazine podcast offers two regular episodes a month: in ‘Recording of the Month’ they explore the best new disc featured in the latest magazine, while in ‘First Listen’ the editorial team gather round to discuss and rate an upcoming release.

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Magazine editorial team, BBC Music Magazine

La barcaccia: this podcast comes out of a radio show focused exclusively in opera. The show has been running for 20 years every weekday featuring interviews to the stars of the opera world, excerpts from new and old productions and everything one would want to know about opera. Only in Italian.

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Enrico Stinchelli, Michele Suozzo, La Barcaccia

Clarineat covers wide range of topics including clarinet techniques, instrument maintenance tips, musical entrepreneurship, hearing protection for musicians, and fantastic stories from artists and product manufacturers. Join host Sean Perrin as he discusses “all that’s new and neat with clarinet, with the neatest people in the industry.”

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Sean Perrin, Clarineat

Contrabass Conversations features interviews and performances from top leaders in the world of the bass. Podcast host Jason Heath dives deep into what makes these world-class artists tick. With 1.5 million downloads and counting, Contrabass Conversations is the most popular podcast for double bassists.

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Jason Heath, Contrabass Conversations

Crushing Classical: podcast is an ongoing series of provocative interviews with musicians who are pioneering a new path in the classical music genre. Tracy Friedlander digs into musician’s lives who have made an often risky move towards forging a unique path and creating a different kind of music career for themselves. This is particularly challenging in a field where the conventional approach is seeking employment in an orchestra.

In addition to the regular podcast, Crushing classical offers a new series: the Fireside Chats – where Tracy and her new partner at Crushing Classical, Eileen Gordon, sit down and talk about a whole bunch of stuff about building a career, diving into the concept of being strategic when navigating a music career… and what that actually means with examples from her life!

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Tracy Friedlander, Crushing classical

The Entrepreneurial Musician, hosted by former Boston Brass member Andrew Hitz, features interviews with the best and brightest entrepreneurs in the music business today.

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Andrew Hitz, The Entrepreneurial Musician

The Great composers podcast: Violist Kevin Nordstrom explores the lives of some of the most famous classical composers: Bach, Beethoven and Kreisler. A bibliography for all episodes of can be found on Kevin’s website.

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Kevin Nordstrom, Great Composers Podcast

iCadenza’s Creative Careers podcast features interviews with musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, and other creative professionals, exploring issues of what it means to create for a living, the challenges of managing your own time, and the opportunities that come from driving the direction of your career.

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Kelly Kasle, iCadenza’s Creative Careers Podcast

Indie Opera: the driving force of opera is in small opera companies with independent producers. Indie Opera is the place to go to for news about where opera is headed, in companies that are creating new operas and who are presenting the classics in new ways for wider audiences.

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Peter Szep, Noah Lethbridge, Brooke Larimer, Walker Lewis, Indie Opera

The Portfolio Composer: mastering the business of composition through mindset, marketing, and business skills: composers are actually small-business owners selling the fruit of their craft. This podcast aims to help composers develop the skills they need to profit from their own art.

Subscribe via iTunes

Hosted by: Garrett Hope, The Portfolio Composer

Final thoughts

Also of interest, if you’re an opera buff, is the new Metropolitan Opera podcast, usually focused on current productions. The Met Opera Guild podcast is also available on SoundCloud. And if you’re into hidden treasures you can try out the ClassicalPodcasts Buried treasures series: last year they had some 10 episodes dedicated to the influences of classical music on the Middle East.

Compared to other areas, classical music podcasts can be still considered in their infancy. However, the numbers are growing fast: Contrabass Conversations, for instance, has reached 1.5 millions downloads. Considering how highly targeted these podcasts are, their future seems to be quite bright.

Did we miss an important one from the list? Which podcast do you usually listen to? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

Gianmaria Griglio

Gianmaria Griglio

Composer and conductor, Gianmaria Griglio is the co-founder and Artistic Director of ARTax Music.

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