Concert Companion

The Concert Companion was a hand-held device intended to enhance concert experiences by presenting information that complements the music while the music is being performed. Using wireless technology, the Concert Companion delivered explanatory text, program notes and video images in real time with the music. The Concert Companion was developed under the auspices of the Kansas City Symphony by former executive director Roland Valliere.


Testing of the Concert Companion took place with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Kansas City Symphony and Oakland East Bay Symphony. It was featured at the Wall Street Journal's "D: All Things Digital" executive conference in Carlsbad, California in June 2004,[1] and at the Association of British Orchestras Conference in Birmingham, England in February 2005.

Media coverage

Feature articles about the Concert Companion appeared across the United States in The New York Times,[2][3] The Wall Street Journal,[4] USA Today,[5] San Francisco Classical Voice,[6] Orlando Sentinel,[7] Gizmodo,[8] The Baltimore Sun,[9] PC World Magazine,[10] and internationally in The Guardian,[11] and Heise Online.[12] Feature segments aired on National Public Radio All Things Considered,[13] and internationally on BBC News[14] and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).


Funding for the Concert Companion was received from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,[15] John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


  1. "D2 Gallery". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  2. Mirapaul, Matthew (2003-07-17). "A Hand-Held Portal To Musical Delights". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  3. Ogunnaike, Lola (2004-05-29). "Concertgoers Multitasking To Stravinsky". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  4. Mossberg, Walt; JOURNAL, Kara Swisher Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET (2004-06-08). "Next Up for Gadgets: Clearer Cellphones, Super-Powered DVDs". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  5. " - Electronic concert gizmo demystifies Mozart for the masses". Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  6. "Terms of Engagement: Yes, Audiences Want Classical Music Apps | San Francisco Classical Voice". Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  7. "Voila, Voila: A Digital Companion For Concert Fans". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  8. Gizmodo. "The Concert Companion". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  9. Smith, Tim. "A concert app for engaging, building audiences". Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  10. "PDAs Take a Seat at the Symphony". PCWorld. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  11. Ward, David (2005-02-07). "Wireless technology will help concertgoers know the score". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  12. online, heise. "New York Philharmonics testen Konzertbegleitung per PDA". heise online (in German). Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  13. "A Digital Companion for Concert Fans". Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  14. "BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Classical concerts go digital". Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  15. "The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 2004 Annual Report" (PDF).
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