The world-famous Philharmonia Orchestra, resident orchestra at Bedford Corn Exchange, comes to Bedford this July and August with The Virtual Orchestra, a free experience for all the family that gives everyone the opportunity to experience a symphony orchestra up-close. A large tent on Riverside Square is now home to a 10-room installation that showcases the internal workings of the Philharmonia as the orchestra performs Holst’s The Planets, and virtual reality headsets that transport you to a concert hall stage where you can see and hear the orchestra up close in 360-degree virtual reality.

Visitors will have the opportunity to play along with the orchestra’s percussion section, use the Philharmonia’s virtual reality headsets and join a guided tour of the installation led by music specialists, all for free.  In addition, there will be a busy fringe programme with activities ranging from karaoke to coffee mornings put on by local artists and musicians responding to The Virtual Orchestra.

The Virtual Orchestra culminates with a live concert with a twist on 10 August 2018 at Bedford Corn Exchange

Jonathan Mayes, the Philharmonia’s Director of Residencies and Regional Programme, said: “We are delighted to bring our flagship project to Bedford this summer. It will give the opportunity for thousands of people to interact with a symphony orchestra in an entirely new way and in a new space for public events.”

Visiting The Virtual Orchestra installation on Riverside Square is free with no ticket or pre-booking required. For further details about booking workshops and concert tickets, and opening and performance times, visit

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