Holographic technology allowed the deceased Russian composer to return to the concert platform.

A ghostly apparition of the great Russian piano virtuoso and composer Sergei Rachmaninov appeared to a packed concert hall in Naples, Italy last week. However far from being an occurrence of the supernatural variety, it was in fact the result of some innovative holographic projection technology.

The holographic Rachmaninov performed at the opening concert of PianocityNapoli, a three day musical marathon featuring 200 piano recitals by over 300 pianists. The event, title Ghost Concert, was conceived by pedal piano pioneer Roberto Prosseda and Julius Tuomisto, the CEO of Finnish software company Delicode. The concert saw Rachmaninov apparently performing 11 works that he recorded during his lifetime on piano rolls, as well as taking part in an interview with Prosseda onstage.

The remarkable production was made possible by Delicode’s Ni-Mate and Z-Vector software, which projects 3D modelled graphics. Prosseda’s hope is that engaging with this type of technology will attract a much broader audience to the concert hall. “Only 2 or 3 percent of the population attends piano recitals,” Prosseda observes, “our goal is to reach the other 98 percent.”