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Mahler Chamber Orchestra:
in Virtual Reality!

Princeton University Concerts Debut


Thursday, January 18, 2024, EST

Friday, January 19, 2024, EST

Saturday, January 20, 2024, EST

Sunday, January 21, 2024, EST


Lewis Arts Complex, Princeton University Campus


General: $20 | Student: $10 | Princeton University Student: Free through Passport to the Arts.

Playing in an orchestra is an immersive experience. With VR and immersive sound, we can share that experience with you."

—Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Performances Up Close

About the Event

United States Premiere

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra returns to Princeton – in virtual reality! With the aid of VR headsets you will be transported to a fully immersive world of music in which you can move around (or through/over/under!) the musicians as a multi-dimensional recording responds in real-time. You will be able to hear and feel what it is like to sit in the middle of an ensemble and hear the sound emanating from each distinct instrument, expanding and rediscovering the process of listening. Taking the music-without-bounds concept at the core of our Performances Up Close series to a groundbreaking new level, this United States premiere of the “Future Presence” project opens striking new possibilities for interaction between listener, performer, instrument and sound in a space that merges reality with fantasy – a new world awaits you!


·      What is Virtual Reality?

A virtual reality headset includes a display screen, stereo sound, and sensors to deliver an interactive audiovisual experience that immerses you in 360-degree projected content. For “Future Presence,” the Mahler Chamber Orchestra pre-recorded musical selections using virtual reality technology. A virtual reality headset will enable you to move freely amid the musicians and notice how your location influences nuances in the music. Whether in front of the violin, next to the flute or underneath the cello – there are almost no limits to the interactive sound experience as you immerse yourself within one of the world’s greatest chamber orchestras.

·      What will the experience be like?

Please refer to the “About Future Presence” video on this page for a sneak peek of the experience. For directions to the venue and parking information, please refer to the Lewis Arts Complex section on our Plan Your Visit page.
Upon arrival at your designated time slot, you will be guided to a room where you will be given a headset and headphones in order to experience the first of three musical works. You will see and hear the musicians projected into your headset, and be able to move around the virtual concert space. After enjoying the first musical work, you will be guided to two other rooms, each of which will allow you to experience a new musical work. There will be a short break in between each musical experience, and a staff member will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. The entire experience will take roughly 45 minutes.

·      Are there any restrictions for using Virtual Reality glasses?

VR glasses are not recommended for children under the age of 10, pregnant women, or individuals who are susceptible to epilepsy and seizures.
The VR headset can emit radio waves that may affect the operation of nearby electronics, including cardiac pacemakers. If you have a pacemaker or other implanted medical device, please consult with your doctor before registering for this event.

·      Can I experience Future Presence from a wheelchair or with a mobility-assistive device?

Yes, absolutely! This experience is fully accessible for users of wheelchairs and other assistive devices.

·      I am worried about my balance while wearing a virtual reality headset. What precautions are in place to make sure that I don’t fall?

You’re not alone — a lot of virtual reality headset users are concerned about this question, and most all of them find it not to be a problem once they put on the headset. However, rest assured that staff members will be posted at the venue at all times and will be available to provide a steadying hand as needed.

·      How should I dress?

We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes for the most unrestricted experience.

·      I can no longer attend. What are my options?

While there are no refunds for this event, please contact us if you cannot attend your timeslot so that other patrons might enjoy this experience.

Read More About Event


  • Future Presence: An Immersive Installation in Virtual Reality
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Allegro from String Quintet in G Minor, K. 516

  • Charles Ives

    The Unanswered Question

  • Felix Mendelssohn

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61

Plan Your Visit

Get directions, see parking and accessibility info, download a seating charts, and more.

Learn More

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