Press Room

YouTube Symphony Orchestra announced winning members today

San Bruno, CA – YouTube™ announced today the members of the
YouTube Symphony Orchestra, the world’s first orchestra selected entirely
through on-line auditions.  The
musicians will travel from 30 countries and territories around the world to New
York City, to participate in a classical music summit on April 12-15,
concluding with a concert at Carnegie Hall under the direction of the San
Francisco Symphony Music Director, New World Symphony Artistic Director, and
London Symphony Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas.

The global YouTube community
and Michael Tilson Thomas have selected more than 90 musicians playing 26
different instruments, from a group of 200 finalists.  The musicians will travel to New York from 30 different
countries and territories: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil,
Canada, China, Columbia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong
Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands,
Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the Ukraine, the United
Kingdom, and the United States. 
(See below for the North American winners’ city and state information.)

Since the launch of this
initiative in December 2008, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s channel ( has
received more than 13 million views worldwide with visitors from more than 200
countries and territories.  More
than 3,000 videos were submitted to YouTube, by musicians from Azerbaijan to
Venezuela.  These participants,
consisting of professional and amateur musicians of all ages and on all
instruments, represented more than 70 countries and territories on six

After a preliminary
screening by musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic,
Hong Kong Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony,
among others, videos from 200 finalists were collected and posted on the
YouTube Symphony Orchestra channel on February 14, 2009.  These finalists ranged in age from 15
to 55.  The YouTube community voted
for their favorites and, as the project’s Artistic Advisor, Michael Tilson
Thomas reviewed the finalists to create the orchestra that will perform the
program at Carnegie Hall on April 15, 2009.

“It has been a remarkably
exciting process reviewing the many contributions from around the world.  It’s been a real window on the lives of
music lovers everywhere who have auditioned in their dorms, practice rooms, on
stages of neo-classical theaters, apartment house lobbies, on gorgeous Italian
fiddles and old upright pianos,” said Mr. Tilson Thomas.  “All of them have played with great
heart and devotion.  I want to
thank the participating orchestras and the whole YouTube community for all
their help selecting the finalists. 
I am so looking forward to meeting everyone in person in New York in

“From the undiscovered
cellist to the professionally-trained bassoonist, the YouTube Symphony
Orchestra is a real-life example of how people can use online video to share
their talents with the world. 
Performers captured the attention of both renowned classical musicians
and the YouTube community,” said Ed Sanders, YouTube Product Marketing
Manager.  “We can’t wait to see
what happens when these musicians come together for the first time at Carnegie

“It’s been a privilege to
help so many talented people from such diverse backgrounds come together.  The enthusiasm and commitment with
which they have engaged with the project and each other is astonishing,” said
Chaz Jenkins, Head of LSO Live, London Symphony Orchestra.  “Performing and connecting with an
audience is the ultimate goal for any musician, and those who have taken part
will have benefited from that experience in a way and on a scale that would
have been unimaginable to musicians just a few years ago.”

Musicians such as Chinese
pianist Lang Lang, the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra Global Ambassador, and
founding composer Tan Dun, creator of Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica,
a piece specially arranged for this occasion, have endorsed the project and
encouraged participation.

The talented musicians will
participate in Master Classes with world-class musicians, rehearse together,
and share in each other’s diverse experiences and backgrounds.

“The strings on my violin
were 15 years old when I first learned of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra and
that’s when I realized it was time to get my violin out of the closet,” said
California surgeon Calvin Lee. 
“Since then, I’ve been practicing, playing, and thoroughly enjoying
meeting other passionate musicians from across the globe through the YouTube
Symphony Orchestra.”

The YouTube Symphony
Orchestra marks the first program on YouTube to welcome submissions from nearly
every country in the world, and the channel is available in 16 different
languages.  YouTube has partnered
with more than 40 major classical music organizations and institutions to bring
this initiative to musicians around the world.

Program details and guest
soloists will be announced shortly. 
Tickets are on sale now through Carnegie Charge at (212) 247-7800 at

View the winners’ videos at

North American winners are
from the following cities and states:

United States:

California: Cupertino,
Fremont, Modesto, San Francisco

Illinois: Chicago, Evanston

Indiana: Bloomington

Massachusetts: Allston,
Boston, West Brookfield

Maryland: Baltimore

Michigan: Saline

Nevada: Reno

New York: Islip, New York,

Ohio: Cincinnati, Cleveland

Pennsylvania: Harrisburg,

South Carolina: Clover

Texas: El Paso, Keller,
Pearland, Waco

Virginia: Charlottesville

Washington: Spokane


Alberta: Calgary

Ontario: Kitchener, Toronto

Quebec: Montréal, Saguenay

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A YouTube Symphony Orchestra
website specifically for the media is available at:

For further information,

Kate Berland: [email protected]

Glenn Petry: (212) 625-2038,
[email protected] 

March 2, 2009

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