Thursday 9 Jan 2020
Philharmonia Orchestra in live and digital residency at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre
This January, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen take up residency at the hall of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in both live and digital formats, as part of the Orchestra’s five-concert Japan tour, which is supported by Citi.
Salonen conducts the Orchestra in five different programmes (23 – 29 January 2020) featuring music by Stravinsky (The Firebird, The Rite of Spring), Mahler (Symphony No. 9) and Shostakovich (the First Violin Concerto, with soloist Sayaka Shoji), alongside two premieres in Japan of his own music: the Cello Concerto (with soloist Truls Mørk) and Gemini.
The Philharmonia arrives in Japan in a digital guise earlier in the month. From 11 January, the Orchestra’s VR Sound Stage will be presented, for free, at the Atelier West of Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, in partnership with Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and the British Council. In its Japanese premiere, Mahler’s Third captures the final ten minutes of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen in front of a live audience at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on 1 October 2017.
VR Sound Stage, the latest of the Orchestra’s pioneering virtual reality projects, and the most high-tech experience to date, invites audiences to take a seat inside a room, put on a VR headset, and experience Mahler’s music in ground-shaking detail. Audiences of up to 15 at a time will begin ‘seated’ in the heart of the Orchestra, right in front of conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, and experience the performance unfolding around them.
In addition to the presentation inside the venue, video and audio of the Orchestra performing Mahler’s Third Symphony will be presented at the Global Ring Theatre, a new public outdoor stage (with a 360-degree sound system) right outside the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. This presentation, hosted by Toshima City, will run twice an evening until the end of the month as a large-scale outdoor sound installation.
This is the latest in a series of presentations of the VR Sound Stage, which has been enjoyed by audiences at the Philharmonia’s Southbank Centre home as well as around the world, at the Cartagena Music Festival in Colombia, Bergen International Festival, Norway, and Ravinia Festival near Chicago.
The Philharmonia Orchestra’s live and digital residency at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre concert hall is one of the key cultural projects of UK in JAPAN 2019-20, an ambitious joint initiative by the British Council and the British Embassy Tokyo highlighting the breadth of the UK relationship with Japan, from culture to business.
The Philharmonia’s Japan Tour Partner is