The first virtual reality classical channel

The first virtual reality classical channel


norman lebrecht

September 07, 2021

We have been alerted to a new youtube channel where, with the aid of 3D glasses, you can become a virtual ‘presence’ in the space where the pianist is performing.

The music is the work of an unusually gifted Californian composer called Jeremy Cavaterra and it has been recorded as a world premiere performance at the Auditorio de Tenerife.

See what you think.

And if you’ve got the right glasses, tell us what you see.



  • H. Paul Moon says:

    It’s called VR180, a variant on 360-degree virtual reality, and instead of letting you turn all the way around, it uses that bandwidth to present a left eye and right eye image to be stitched together into some degree of depth perception using devices that range from simple goggles that hold smartphones, to Oculus headsets with their own built-in monitors (one for each eye). Without goggles, you can just click and drag your mouse around to shift the 180-degree view.

    These have been around for years and the YouTube channel is actually one of many thousands. Here is something that I filmed a while ago using the same technology, of George Crumb’s timeless BLACK ANGELS:

    • John Borstlap says:

      Terrible piece of sound art, is not helped in the least by the distraction of the technology.

    • Hi Paul, I don’t claim to be the first to publish a VR video of classical music. My channel is the first to feature only classical music (piano solo repertoire for now) exclusively in VR. Yours is a fine channel, but is a general-purpose channel with a few VR videos on it. To say that there are “thousands” of VR channels of classical music is not only ridiculous hyperbole but demonstrably false.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    When creating the first classical Livestream in 1997, I shared the idea of VR with producers, but it was still too new and that thought was far into the future. This is great to see happening now in 2021, almost a quarter century later.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Tell us why one should not spend every penny on better sound.

  • George Johnson says:

    I’m going to see if I can view this on my Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. I wish someone would produce a complete opera in VR. One of the classics like Turnindot or Aida.

  • Bodenhauer says:

    It bears mention that the performer is Gustavo Díaz-Jerez, who also commissioned this work.

  • Terence says:

    Yes the 3D worked on my iPad with cheap cinema glasses. If you move the screen around you get different angles too.

    Interesting but maybe unnecessary for a solo pianist — better with a quartet?

    I usually just focus on the music and often close my eyes but if you were to put it on a big TV it may be a much better experience.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The music is wonderful, harking back to a better musical period, but taking the musical sensitivity of that time into new directions. That is an avantgarde into a better direction than the old one.

    The pianist is Gustavo Diaz-Jerez (Spain).

    This is another chamber music piece by Cavaterra, Nemeton; music with sunshine instead of the morbid meandering we hear so often:



  • John Borstlap says:

    The focus on the technology instead of the music as shown in many of the comments on this thread shows that even among ‘classical music lovers’ the wrapping paper takes priority. However interesting the 3D presentation, the technology is meant to enhance the MUSICAL experience, not the technical one.