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Thursday 10 Jan 2019

Philharmonia Announces New Consortium With Top Arts Organisations And Tech Companies For Major R&D Grant

VR Sound Stage

The Philharmonia Orchestra has secured funding for a major new government research and development grant, the Demonstrator fund from the Audience of the Future programme.

The Orchestra worked with partners, led by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), to create a consortium with some of the world’s top technology companies, alongside some of the UK’s leading arts organisations and universities, including the Philharmonia’s Principal Partner, De Montfort University.

The resulting two-year project will run throughout 2019 and 2020. The goal of the project is to work with immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) to re-imagine what a live performance can be. The consortium will explore the possibilities of presenting multiple real-time performances across multiple stages to the same audience. In essence, the audience will no longer be bound by their location.

The Philharmonia Orchestra will provide the musical element of the eventual performance, alongside contributing to the overall development of the immersive technologies the project will use. The Orchestra’s R&D will focus on cutting-edge techniques: ‘located Audio’ for musical performance within VR and MR; location-based audio experiences, building upon the ground-breaking VR Sound Stage project; and composing and performing new media such as AI and real-time games engine.

The project is funded within the Audience of the Future programme by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.


Further details

The Audience of the Future programme of grants is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund for Research and Innovation, underwritten by Innovate UK, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and UK Research and Innovation. The funding awarded to the consortium totals £3.99m.


The consortium is comprised of:

Arts organisations: Royal Shakespeare Company (lead partner); Philharmonia Orchestra; Punchdrunk; Manchester International Festival; Marshmallow Laser Feast.

Technology partners: Magic Leap; Intel; Epic Games.

Research partners: De Montfort University; I2 Media Research Limited (part of Goldsmiths College); NESTA; PHI Centre; University of Portsmouth; The Space