La Caixa Foundation presents Symphony, a virtual reality project featuring Gustavo Dudamel and 101 musicians from 22 countries.
The deputy general director of "la Caixa" Banking Foundation, Elisa Durán, conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and the founder of Igor Studio and project director Igor Cortadellas, announce Symphony, an immersive virtual reality experience that aims to bring the transcendent beauty of classical music to all audiences.
The state-of-the-art audiovisual project places viewers in the middle of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Dudamel, as they perform works by Beethoven, Mahler, and Bernstein. It will be premiered in CosmoCaixa in Barcelona, and then will begin a ten-year tour which will include a hundred towns and cities in Spain and Portugal.
Symphony will tour via two mobile pop-up cinemas, each more than 3 hundred square feet when expanded. The first cinema will screen a panoramic film which explores the unifying power of music through three young musicians in Colombia, New York and on the Mediterranean coast, and how each of them is connected with the sounds and music of their environment.
The second unit is dedicated to living the virtual reality experience, where spectators will put on 3D glasses and find themselves seated in the Gran Teatro del Liceo, and maestro Dudamel, the heart and soul of the Gustavo Dudamel Foundation, greeting them. Then they will be placed amidst the musicians of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, sitting in silence until Dudamel signals the famous beginning of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
The deputy general director of the "la Caixa" Foundation, Elisa Durán, said: "With this extraordinary and captivating experience, we want to contribute to disseminating classical music through symphonic compositions and make it available to the wider public, as well as to all music lovers who may feel its allure. Orchestra and conductor come together to offer a very special, unprecedented journey into the heart of classical music and the human soul through the emotions and notes of the great composers."
Gustavo Dudamel said this of the project: "When we sat down with my friends at the la Caixa Foundation to dream about what we wanted to accomplish with this project, it was clear from the start that we shared three core beliefs: that music can transcend our differences, encourage individual empowerment and promote social integration. This project is a perfect embodiment of those shared values, a mobile exhibition that will offer tens of thousands of people access to symphonic music, and - I hope - create a greater appreciation for this art form. I also hope that it will enrich and inspire the people who were involved in producing and performing in this marvelous, and somewhat crazy, production."
"It was thrilling to see how new teams joined in, building partnerships, engaging, sharing the dream of completing such a huge project as this but which, in the end, is as fragile and delicate as a tiny music box", is how the creative director Igor Cortadellas described the production.
More than 250 people worked and collaborated to make this project a reality, from the luthier David Bagué to the 60 extraordinary mentors of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the 41 young artists from the Gustavo Dudamel Foundation, whose mission is to expand access to music and the arts for young people by providing tools and opportunities to shape their creative futures. These young musicians represent the citizens of 22 countries across five continents (coming from the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Spain, Norway, Venezuela, Colombia, Korea, Sweden, France and Argentina). The mentors and mentees performed together under the baton of Dudamel, bringing life to these masterpieces of the classical repertoire. In addition, more than 150 professionals were involved in the teams engaged in the creative, production, and postproduction elements.