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Media release

CommBank can

Media release

CommBank helps bring world-first virtual orchestra experience to Australians

24 SEPTEMBER 2013: Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) has today announced the launch of a world-first in technology with ACO VIRTUAL, an interactive and mobile virtual orchestra. Sponsored by the project’s Founding Partner Commonwealth Bank, this state of the art technology enables all Australians to experience ACO’s musical masterpieces in a way never before possible.

ACO VIRTUAL was produced by Mod Productions, and features 2D and 3D projections of 13 of the ACO’s acclaimed musicians – giving audience members a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch, conduct and even play alongside the orchestra. Via a touch screen ‘music stand’ the audience controls what musicians they see and hear via the projections, and can select to listen to the musicians individually or collectively.

Each ACO VIRTUAL session runs for 30 minutes and features Bach, Grieg, Smalley and Piazolla - chosen to maximise the audience experience. For musical enthusiasts, the technology also allows you to view the musical notes on the projection and play along with the orchestra so you’ll feel like an ACO member yourself! There’s also an augmented reality smartphone app that provides detailed information about the music, musicians and instruments.

The digital media production was built using 13 stereoscopic camera rigs to capture and bring to life the audio and three-dimensional images of the ACO musicians performing on a sound stage. The performance capture technique allows the images of individual performers to be isolated and manipulated, which in turn, lets the audience control the performance of the entire orchestra.

Commonwealth Bank, Chief Marketing Officer, Vittoria Shortt says, “We’re committed to bringing innovation and the latest advances in technology to all Australians, and ACO VIRTUAL demonstrates this commitment by taking the wonder of the ACO to a wider audience across the country.

“The ACO is leading the world in developing an orchestral experience capable of welcoming the audience into the role of conductor and even playing alongside our internationally renowned musicians.”

ACO General Manager ,Timothy Calnin says: “We are thrilled to be launching ACO VIRTUAL. Conceived as a way to reach communities in remote parts of Australia. This world-first digital installation enables visitors to get inside the Orchestra and play music along with musicians. It is rich in educational content while simultaneously being immensely enjoyable as a musical event.

Calnin continues, “Even after spending my whole career working with professional orchestras, I had never had the experience of being completely surrounded by the musicians in performance, and this is something which ACO VIRTUAL achieves with remarkable realism. We could not be working with a more appropriate partner than Commonwealth Bank as together we can achieve our shared goals of bringing innovation and high quality to the whole Australian community.”

Audiences can experience ACO VIRTUAL at the Sydney Opera House Studio from 21-23 October 2013 and 27-29 October 2013 as part of the iconic building’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Across 2014, ACO VIRTUAL will tour a number of regional centres, including Port Macquarie in January and February, Bathurst in March and Yarra Ranges in June and July. For tour dates and venues visit

Notes for editors

ACO VIRTUAL participant virtual musicians
Richard Tognetti, Artistic Director and Violin
Satu Vänskä, Principal Violin
Rebecca Chan, Violin
Madeleine Boud, Violin
Ilya Isakovich, Violin
Aiko Goto, Violin
Alice Evans, Violin
Mark Ingwersen, Violin
Christopher Moore, Principal Viola
Nicole Divall, Viola
Stephen King, Viola
Timo-Veikko Valve, Principal Cello
Julian Thompson, Cello
Maxime Bibeau, Principal Double Bass

ACO VIRTUAL was produced by Mod Productions
Mish Sparks, Executive Producer
Michela Ledwidge, Artist and Director
Paul Nichola, Cinematographer, VFX Producer
Cristina Dio, Producer




Media contact:

Elizabeth Lovett
Commonwealth Bank
P: 02) 9303 1403/ 0400 234 035