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Unfinished Symphony

The ‘Unfinished Symphony’ has remained an enigma for almost 200 years. If no composer could complete the symphony with the esteem Schubert’s legacy deserved, could Huawei's AI be the solution? 




Huawei wanted to demonstrate the power of AI to push the boundaries of what is humanly possible. But needed to do that in a way that felt relatable outside the tech world. AI is still veiled by the unknown; it feels untouchable, and consumers are uneasy by the concept, relating it with images of world domination created by pop culture. We needed to find a away to evoke an emotional response from consumers, and demonstrate the human side of AI.

Franz Schubert’s notorious Symphony No. 8 was left mysteriously unfinished in the 1820s. Only two of four movements were ever recorded, and it remains unknown why Schubert never completed it in the 6 years between starting the composition and his death in 1828. The ‘Unfinished Symphony’ has remained an enigma for almost 200 years. If no composer could complete the symphony with the esteem Schubert’s legacy deserved, could AI be the solution?

What if Huawei combined artificial intelligence with experience and emotion—things AI is unable to replicate—to humanise AI?


Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro smartphone used AI technology to listen to the first two movements of the symphony, analysing the key musical elements that make it so unique.

In collaboration with an Emmy award-winning composer from Los Angeles, the AI generated the melody for the missing third and fourth movement from its analysis.

Suddenly, the Unfinished Symphony was no longer unfinished; AI accomplished what no other composer had been able to do, and completed Schubert’s masterpiece 197 years later. The now finished Symphony was performed at a live concert at the iconic Cadogan Hall in London. Huawei not only demonstrated the power of AI, but the endless possibilities sitting at the intersection of artificial intelligence and human expertise.

However we needed a way to transcend the music, and tell the world about the power of technology and its potential to drive positive impact on the world of art and culture.

We identified two audience groups with whom the story of Unfinished Symphony would resonate. The first, and most obvious, was people who were passionate about classical music and composers, including the likes Franz Schubert. The second audience identified we called ‘Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs’—innovators, creators, and optimists—who we believed would rally behind Huawei’s vision of making the impossible, possible.

With two video creatives, we needed to find the right media mix that would allow us to distribute longer-length content on premium channels, while also implementing targeting to ensure we reached both target groups. We partnered with social (Facebook/Instagram), video (Xaxis, Teads, TI Media), and music platforms (Spotify, YouTube) to disseminate 30- and 60-second video assets and tell our story.


We amplified video content in the 4 week period following the live concert from February to March, across 7 markets within Western Europe and Australia. With a budget of 1.4M GBP we delivered 132M impressions and 70.4M video views—shattering benchmark by 91%--proving the intrigue of our story. We achieved 2,459 pieces of press coverage, reaching 1.3 billion people worldwide. 

In an ever-polarising world, Huawei bridged the gap between artificial and human intelligence. More than that, Huawei married forward-thinking innovation with classical arts, demonstrating the emotional impact AI can have on not only our future, but our history as well.   

What else is humanly possible?