DSO Reveals State-of-the-Art Tech and Camera Upgrades for “Live from Orchestra Hall” Webcast Series

Mike Lawson • News • December 5, 2019

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The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has made a series of exciting technology upgrades to its groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, with a $2.5 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Live from Orchestra Hall presents free, live webcasts of every DSO Classical Series program available on every device, both online at the new dso.org/live and via Facebook Live. The series also includes the Classroom Edition expansion that broadcasts the DSO’s long-running Educational Concert Series to thousands of students in Detroit and worldwide directly in their schools and classrooms.

Eight Panasonic AW-UE150 4K robotic cameras replace six older Sony models that have been in use for several years. The DSO has also created nine new camera positions in Orchestra Hall, meaning that camera angles can be reconfigured for each webcast. The new cameras perform better in low light and offer a clearer, more colorful image.

The upgrade also includes new broadcast equipment and new wiring that will allow the DSO to film and stream events in The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube and Robert A. and Maggie Allesee Rehearsal Hall, two additional, smaller venues located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

“We’re among the first orchestras to have a 4K UHD camera system, and will be the first American orchestra to record in 4K UHD and have a library of concerts available in that format,” explains Marc Geelhoed, the DSO’s director of Digital Initiatives. “And the new cameras provide fantastic images at 1080p resolution, not just at 4K. We’re excited to have greater video capabilities for the DSO and expand what we can do in our other performance spaces.”

Live from Orchestra Hall and the recent technology upgrade are made possible by Knight Foundation, which has supported the series since its inception in 2011. Knight Foundation’s most recent support comes from a $2.5 million investment announced in 2018—one component of an overall $20 million investment in the arts in Detroit.

“The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is an anchor of the local arts ecosystem and a foundational community asset,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for the arts. “These cutting-edge technology upgrades will help the DSO make classical music even more accessible, engaging existing audiences and reaching new ones in an exciting way.”

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