Luke Ritchie is Digital Director for the Philharmonia Orchestra, an acclaimed leader within the arts for using digital technologies to bring orchestral music to new audiences beyond the traditional music venue. The Philharmonia is the only orchestra to have a dedicated Digital department, reporting directly to the Managing Director, with direct artistic leadership from its Principal Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The department covers a wide portfolio of work. The production team is responsible for the Philharmonia’s multiple large-scale digital installations, which won the Royal Philharmonic Society award multiple times (2010, 2013 & 2015), and have toured the world since. Their in-house video team have built an archive of over 350 videos, while the web team build all of their web content in-house, with the latest example being their interactive web documentary on Stravinsky – www.philharmonia.co.uk/stravinsky.
Most recently, the Digital department have become sector leaders in Virtual Reality, having begun to experiment with the technology in late 2014. Their first piece of VR content was filmed in 2015 in partnership with the Southbank Centre and VR specialists Inition. This was showcased internationally (WIRED Japan, Rio Olympics, CAL Berkeley) in 2016 before its premiere at a dedicated festival –The Virtual Orchestra – at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in September 2016. Due for release on the Samsung Gear VR and Sony PlayStation VR in summer 2017, the Philharmonia have since worked on creating a second piece of VR content, while developing creative partnerships with VR leaders such as Sony, Google and the National Theatre in London.