Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

The world's first 5G orchestra at King's College London

‘Orchestrating the Orchestra’, the world’s first 5G low latency three-way distributed orchestra at King’s College London enables musicians to perform across locations.

Image by: University of Bristol, Smart Internet Lab (violinist: Anneka Sutcliffe and Professor Mischa Dohler in real-time)
Image by: University of Bristol, Smart Internet Lab (violinist: Anneka Sutcliffe and Professor Mischa Dohler in real-time)

A groundbreaking project by the Department of Music and The Department of Informatics at King’s College London has seen the world’s first fully synchronised concert using 5G low latency brought to life across venues in Bristol and London on Saturday 16 March.

This unique multi-site live performance called – Orchestrating the Orchestra    connected three physical locations across the UK, enabling musicians to feel as if they were performing in the same room. Locations included King’s College London and the Digital Catapult (both in London) and the Millennium Square in Bristol. This was leveraged through a pioneering 5G network which interconnected the different sites through low latency and a high capacity 5G design.


Image by: University of Bristol, Smart Internet Lab (Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Dr Dritan Kaleshi and Professor Mischa Dohler in real-time)

The event was organised by the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab in Bristol’s ‘We The Curious’ science centre. It linked musicians across three separate geographical locations over a 5G network arranged by ETSI Open Source Mano. In doing so, the conductor was able to bring all the musicians together in symphony across various areas. The event was part of the 5G Smart Futures, a day to celebrate the revolutionary potential of the 5G network.

Musicians included Mischa Dohler, Professor in Wireless Communications from the Department of Informatics at King’s College London. During the demonstration, he performed a live composition from London’s Guildhall, alongside musicians based at London’s Digital Catapult in real-time. 

After years of research and innovation, we are finally at the point where the next-generation 5G networking technology becomes operational. What better way to celebrate the arrival of that technology than to stage the world's first three-way concert which leverages on the technology feature I am personally most fascinated about: extremely low latency. Enabling 20ms delay between any of the musician gave each the sensation of immediacy and thus a seamless performance despite the different physical location. We are excited to collaborate with King's renowned Music Department on this project, being the first joint project in a series of many more to come.– Professor Mischa Dohler

Professor Dohler drives cross-disciplinary research and innovation in technology, the sciences and the arts. He has pioneered several research fields, contributed to numerous wireless broadband, cybersecurity standards and is also an accomplished music composer.

Other musicians in the project include Rita Fernandes, who played the violin, Noa Dohler performed vocals and Bristol’s ‘We The Curious’ Anneka Sutcliffe also played the violin. Furthermore, the event was supported by the King's 5G tech team, and in particular the 5G Lead Architect Dr Frank Sardis.

Commenting on this project, Professor Martin Stokes, Head of the Department of Music, said: "We are used to thinking about how music is shaped by emerging digital technologies, but not about the role music plays in shaping these very technologies. So, this has been fascinating to witness. Live musical interaction across even larger spaces and networks both models, and tests, other kinds of social interaction, kinds that we can only dimly imagine at present. Mischa Dohler's team have wrought a small miracle here, with the promise of much more to come, and we are delighted to be associated with it."

This showcase is an output of the 5G Smart Tourism project, led by the West of England Combined Authority and funded by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. It brings together 19 organisations to demonstrate the potential of 5G, establishing 5G as a breakthrough solution to mobile communication systems, and as a network of networks.


In this story

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

King Edward Professor of Music