The Wire


The virtual orchestra comes to London’s Southbank Centre

London Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen co-present the first major virtual reality initiative from a UK symphony orchestra at the Southbank Centre in September

London's Southbank centre is presenting a free ten day series featuring the first major virtual reality presentation from a UK Orchestra. The presentation will consist of two digital installations – a walk-though audio-visual piece based on Holst’s The Planets called Universe Of Sound and a VR backstage 360 Experience. And it will culminate in a concert on 1 October conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen.

“The Philharmonia's Digital Projects have taken place all over the world and I am delighted that we are now bringing Universe Of Sound to our home at Southbank Centre, and to our London audience,” says The Philharmonia Orchestra’s principal conductor and artistic advisor Salonen. “The incredible power of virtual reality is that it is disappointing to leave it to come back to reality. There is no doubt that for classical music virtual reality will be a very powerful, useful medium, and I am very excited to be taking part in this project.”

Various workshops will also be taking place. The series runs from 23 September–2 October.