VR Reviews | The best in virtual reality content

Orchestra VR


Direction Production VR Price
Pietro Gagliano James Milward Ryan Andal Free

Orchestra VR is the first virtual reality experience produced by the LA Phil, and one of the first of its kind in the world.

Be transported to our iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall for a 360° 3‑D performance featuring the opening of Beethoven’s timeless Fifth Symphony performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and conducted by Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel.

Beethoven’s fifth symphony was broken down into a story of animated spirits, each representing a different part of the music. The spirits dance around the space and come toward the user, moving perfectly in time with the music. As the music progresses, the spirits clash and struggle against each other until they finally come together, creating a triumphant explosion of light.

To capture Dudamel and the orchestra performing, a spherical camera was used to showcase the space in 360-degree, stereoscopic 3D. The camera was placed in different locations around the Concert Hall to allow for the best sense of presence. After putting on a headset, users find themselves onstage with the orchestra, seeing it from several angles and vantage points throughout the experience. Users are able to connect with the orchestra in an intimate and unique way that is only possible in VR.

Several binaural and directional microphones were placed all around the Concert Hall, so users can experience the audio from the various vantage points in the final piece. In LA Phil VR, the audio responds dynamically when the user turns their head.

“Music is a beautiful symbol of unity, and it is very important to share the joy of music with people from all walks of life and from the many different communities in Los Angeles and beyond. I have often said music is a fundamental human right, and using this technology helps us to make this mission even stronger.” Gustavo Dudamel

From September 11 through October 24, 2015, a mobile viewing station (VAN Beethoven – equipped with six virtual reality headsets) appeared at more than 30 locations in the greater L.A. area, reaching ten thousand people.

Beethoven’s Fifth never looked so good! Puts you right in the middle of the action. 
  • Cloud animation very powerful
  • Best view was from behind the drums
  • Great audio quality
  • 3d seemed slightly mis-aligned in places, some stitching artifacts
  • Visual quality seemed overly sharpened

8 of 10

6 of 10

8 of 10

Orchestra VR and Van Beethoven was part of the LA Phil’s Immortal Beethoven festival in September/October 2015.

Best viewed via the YouTube mobile app, in maximum resolution using a headset.