The Orchestra: iPad app combines Philharmonia Orchestra music, video, with vividly interactive instrument guide

The company that brought you "The Elements" has launched "The Orchestra," an iPad app that brings together video of the London-based Philharmonia Orchestra playing 8 classical compositions, scrolling musical scores, commentary from conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and his musicians and an interactive guide to every instrument in the orchestra. More in Shane Richmond's enthusiastically positive Telegraph review.

And on the company's blog, Touchpress design chief Theodore Gray waxes poetic about his latest labor of love.

The Orchestra is quite simply the most beautiful thing my company has ever made. Beautiful in every sense of the word. It’s filled with beautiful music. It’s filled with beautiful images. And it communicates its subject more beautifully than anything I’ve ever seen before. Anything? Yes, anything.

Sure, there may be more beautiful paintings, more beautiful poems, or more beautiful sunsets. But I’m talking about things whose purpose is to communicate a sizable body of knowledge, to teach me something interesting about the world, to expand my horizons and deepen my understanding. I cannot think of anything, anywhere, in any medium, ever, that has done this as beautifully as the interactive experience we call The Orchestra.

Check out the screengrabs below. The app is $13.99, and for iPad only.


  1. I wish them good luck.  This is a smashingly good app.  They may – and I hope do – learn that for a price that high, they’ll sell a *lot* fewer apps.  I learned myself that even for my well publicized and very rich and deep apps, I made more profit and sold more (up to 100x or more) when I dropped the price by a factor of 10.

    That being said, we’ve already bought this for us and our kids and it is beautiful and well done and worth every penny.

    1. The Rhapsody effect. Rhapsody (remember them?) dropped the price on songs to 49 cents. They ate the loss. They discovered that at half the price, people bought six times as many songs. The music studios balked at retailing that low, feeling it would “devalue the product”…

    2.  Or even put it out on Android. I’d buy the shit outta something like this, if they would let me…

  2. For 13.99, I’m not into the subject matter enough to invest.

    At 3.99, I would buy it because it looks interesting and I can afford to blow that much out of curiosity.

  3. Just downloaded it, and it looks lovely, a masterpiece of App design, even – but I’m a little miffed that the pieces are only excerpts…guess I should have read the small print before clicking.

  4. OK, this is a beyond cool app and I would never have found it on my own (anybody else find they are unable to find worthy apps by just perusing the app store?).  So thank you, a thousand times over.  13.99 is pricey but way cheaper than that Bjork thing I bought that took up a freaking amount of memory.

Comments are closed.