LA Philharmonic Brings Beethoven to the Masses with Virtual Reality

LA Philharmonic Brings Beethoven to the Masses with Virtual Reality

VAN Beethoven is a van traveling through LA communities to bring classical music to those normally without access to it

Daniela Walker
  • 25 august 2015

Touring Los Angeles this fall, the VAN Beethoven truck will be a mobile orchestral experience, using virtual reality to deliver a LA Philharmonic performance normally only seen at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Visitors will enter the customized van, which has a carpet and seating from the hall, and put on a Oculus Rift headset connected to the LA Philharmonic’s virtual reality app. The experience allows viewers not only to experience the music of the Philharmonic, but also the subtleties of the acoustics within the Disney Hall. Unlike normal visitors to the hall, the viewer’s perspective can shift from being in front of the orchestra, to being behind or amidst the symphony. As the perspective shifts, so does the musical experience, shifting to match the way the sound would change depending on the viewer’s location.


To capture the experience, the LA Phil worked with interactive agency Secret Location, who used 360° 3D cameras and binaural sound recordings to capture the nooks and crannies of the hall and its acoustics while the LA Phil played Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 on stage, led by Gustavo Dudamel.

The van will travel across Los Angeles to a variety of areas including the Hollywood Bowl, LA County Fair and Museum Row near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


“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,” Gustavo Dudamel said in a statement. “I have often said music is a fundamental human right, and using this technology helps us to make this mission even stronger.”


LA Phil VAN Beethoven

+LA Phil VAN Beethoven
+oculus rift
+Symphony No. 5

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