Press Room

YouTube Symphony Orchestra debuts at Carnegie Hall on April 15

San Bruno, CA – The YouTube Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Artistic Advisor and Conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, and presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall, debuts live on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30pm.  The event will feature soloists, chamber groups, chamber orchestra, larger orchestra, and electronica.  A visual journey will accompany the music; multi-media projections mapped to the historical Carnegie Hall architecture will transform Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage into an immersive video experience.

The program will sample diverse periods and styles of classical music, including works by Gabrieli, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Villa-Lobos, and John Cage.  There will be a sneak preview excerpt from The B-Sides, a new piece by Mason Bates, due to be premiered in May by the San Francisco Symphony.  Selected video entries featuring Tan Dun’s Internet Symphony No. 1 “Eroica”, written especially for this occasion, are being mashed together to create an ensemble video piece.  The work will be performed at Carnegie Hall and the video will subsequently be posted on

“The YouTube Symphony Orchestra project has given us an online window into the skills, lives, and passions of thousands of musicians around the world,” says Michael Tilson Thomas.  “Now we’re looking forward to the excitement of meeting in person and putting together an eclectic playlist of electronic, solo, orchestral, improvisatory, and chamber music, all celebrating the amazing range of the music we share.”

Headlining the roster of guest artists are violinist Gil Shaham, soprano Measha Brueggergosman, composer/DJ Mason Bates, cellist Joshua Roman, and pianist Yuja Wang.  Three young piano students from the International Foundation of the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra Global Ambassador, Lang Lang, will also perform: Anna Larsen, Charlie Liu, and Derek Wang.

“We are eagerly anticipating the first real-world meeting of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra,” said Ed Sanders, Product Marketing Manager of YouTube.  “It will be a truly global experience, with the more than 90 musicians coming from over 30 countries to learn from each other, to perform with each other, and to bring some of their own culture with them to share with New York.”

About the YouTube Symphony Orchestra

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra ( is the world’s first orchestra selected entirely through auditions online.  The project is a collaboration between YouTube, the London Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Grammy Award -winning conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, Academy Award-winning and Olympics composer Tan Dun, world-renowned pianist Lang Lang, and many other classical musicians and leading institutions.

Since the launch of this initiative in December 2008, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s channel ( has received more than 14 million views worldwide with visitors from more than 200 countries and territories.  Over 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 continents.

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 in February 2009.  These finalists ranged in age from 15 to 55.  The global YouTube community voted for their favorites and the project’s Artistic Advisor, Mr. Tilson Thomas, reviewed the finalists to create the orchestra that is performing at Carnegie Hall on April 15.  View the winners’ videos on

The musicians making up the YouTube Symphony Orchestra are from 30 different countries and territories: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, 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.

On April 12-15, the members of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra will participate in a classical music summit in New York City, under the direction of Mr. Tilson Thomas, that will involve master classes with world-class musicians, rehearsals, and the opportunity to share in each other’s diverse experiences and backgrounds.  The summit culminates with the public event at Carnegie Hall, to include Tan Dun’s Internet Symphony No. 1 “Eroica”, written especially for the occasion.  The video performance of the work, created by mashing up selected video entries in order to produce a single ensemble piece, will live on virtually, on

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.

Meet the artists

Michael Tilson Thomas, Artistic Advisor and Conductor of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, is Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Artistic Director of the New World Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.  Over the course of his career, he has been committed to bringing classical music to a wider audience.  He was the director of the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts for CBS, founded the Discovery Series with the LSO, and in 1987 founded the New World Symphony, an academy for training the next generation of orchestral musicians.  Over 800 graduates of the NWS have gone on to major positions in orchestras and ensembles worldwide.  Mr. Tilson Thomas’s “Keeping Score” program with the San Francisco Symphony is a multi-platform educational concept.  It includes a series of videos that air on PBS, companion websites, and educational programs for schools around the country.  His educational radio series, The MTT Files, won a Peabody Award in 2008, and he has won seven Grammys for his recordings.

Awarded both a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome and an American Academy in Berlin Prize, composer and DJ Mason Bates moves effortlessly between the worlds of electronica and orchestral music.  Recent appearances include performing on electronic drumpad and laptop with the National Symphony Orchestra, in his Liquid Interface at Carnegie Hall; creating an evening of concert music and electronica with members of the Berlin Philharmonic; performing his concerto for synthesizer with the Atlanta and Phoenix Symphonies; and appearing as a DJ of trip-hop and electronica in San Francisco.  His upcoming premieres include The B-Sides with the San Francisco Symphony and Sirens with Chanticleer.  Mr. Mason is on the Young Concert Artists management roster.

Critically acclaimed for her innate musicianship and for a sovereign stage presence far beyond her years, soprano Measha Brueggergosman is one of today’s most magnificent performers and vibrant personalities.  She is an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, whose performances this season take her from New York and Toronto to Paris and Munich.  Beyond the great concert halls of the world, she offers her voice, passion, and energy as a Canadian goodwill ambassador for three international organizations: African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF); Learning Through the Arts; and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).  Comprehensive information may be found at

Dubbed a “Classical Rock Star” by the press, cellist Joshua Roman has earned a reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with a commitment to communicating the essence of the music at its most organic level.  By the age of 22, he was appointed Principal chair in the cello section of the Seattle Symphony and had become a favorite among Seattle music lovers, with sold-out solo and chamber performances throughout the city.  His fearless pursuit of new challenges has since led him to expand his horizons and embark full-time on his growing solo classical career.  Homeschooled until the age of 16, Mr. Roman received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

This season, violinist Gil Shaham performs with nearly 20 international orchestras; celebrates Pablo de Sarasate’s centenary in New York, on television, and in Spain; and plays chamber music concerts at home and abroad.  His recordings, now numbering nearly 30, have earned international awards, and he has produced several CDs for his own label, Canary Classics.  Mr. Shaham was born in the U.S. and raised in Israel, where he began violin studies at the age of seven.  Soon afterward he began studying with Dorothy DeLay, and in 1982 became her pupil at the Juilliard School.  A recipient of the prestigious 2008 Avery Fisher Award, he lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony.

Pianist Yuja Wang has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the keyboard repertoire, the depth of her musical insight, fresh interpretations, and charismatic stage presence.  Her playing combines the fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist.  Ms. Wang is a recipient of the 2006 Gilmore Young Artist Award and has performed with orchestras, in recital, and at festivals throughout the world.  Born in Beijing, she moved to the U.S. at the age of 15 to study at the Curtis Institute, where she graduated in 2008.  Her debut CD, Sonatas & Etudes, will be released by Deutsche Grammophon in April 2009.

Students from Lang Lang’s International Foundation (

Pianist Anna Larsen is eight years old and lives in Boston.  She attends public school, and studies piano and composition on the weekend at the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School with Ramon Rivera and Alla Cohen.  Anna started playing piano when she was three years old and learned music very quickly.  She played her first two-part Bach invention at four years old and her first Mozart Sonata at five.  Now, Anna practices about two hours a day with some additional time after school for theory and composition homework.  She dreams of playing with an orchestra and of traveling around the world playing the piano.

Pianist Charlie Liu has just turned eight.  He began piano at the age of four, and won his first competition at age five.  In 2007 at age six, he had his first solo recital, won first place in Massachusetts State Competition (six- and seven-year-old division), and performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  Charlie has won each of the ten competitions he has entered.  His 2008 awards include the AADGT Passion of Music 2008 International Piano Competition, Gold Prize of the American Fine Arts Festival Competition, and Second Prize of the Bradshaw & Buono International Competition.  He has performed at various prestigious venues including Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.  Charlie currently studies with Mrs. Ingrid Clarfield of Princeton, NJ.

Pianist Derek Wang is ten years old.  He began piano lessons at the age of five and has studied with Mrs. Dorothy Shi and Mr. Yin Cheng-Zong, and with Mrs. Elena Rossman for musical expression.  Derek lives in Boston with his parents and older brother and is currently a fifth grader at Mount Alvernia Academy.  An avid Star Wars fan, Derek also enjoys swimming, baseball, computer and video games, and math.  His favorite composers are Chopin, Bach, and Beethoven.  Derek won first place in the 2008 Bay State Piano Competition of the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association (nine-year-old division), as well as in 2007 (eight-year-old division), and 2006 (seven-year-old division).

Members of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra

Following is a list of the 96 musicians selected to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, chosen from the finalists by Mr. Tilson Thomas and the YouTube community.

Violin I

Vadym Borysov (Ukraine)

Benjamin Chan (Albany, NY)

Tiago Manuel De Oliveira Santos (Portugal)

David France (Bermuda)*

Pavel Guerchovitch (France)

Andrea Christine Jarret (Saline, MI)

Roman Krainz (Austria)

Marc Levine (Islip, NY)

Jacqueline Morant (Keller, TX)*

Ben Odhner (Cleveland, OH)

Karla Donehew Perez (Cleveland, OH)

Manuel Ramos Reynoso (Mexico)*

Donovan Seidle (Canada)

Hanah Stuart (New York, NY)*

Flueras Besa Titus (Romania)*

Alexey Zavgorodnyy (Russia)

Jingye Zhang (China)

Violin II

Alexandra Early (Cleveland, OH)

Jakub Fiser (Czech Republic)

Kyung-Hee Kim (Austria)

Tae Shik Kim (South Korea)

Irina Simeonova Kodin (Brazil)

Calvin Lee (Modesto, CA)

Tien-Hsuan Lee (Allston, MA)*

Jennifer Milicent Lindsay (Torrance, CA)

Dr. Martin Merger (Germany)

Garegin Nalbandov (Georgia)

Sangmin Park (Germany)

Da Li (China)

Hannah Tarley (Cupertino, CA)*

Annemarie Van Viegen (Netherlands)


Viktor Ba’tki (Hungary)*

Lauren Brigden (Australia)

Yurii Inti Bullon Bobadilla (Mexico)

Jennifer Chang (San Francisco, CA)

Boudrant Clement (France)

Pawet Czarny (Poland)

Renee Noel Gilliland (El Paso, TX)

Samantha Gillogly (West Brookfield, MA)

Yunior Lopez (Canada)

Ondrev Martinovsky (Czech Republic)

Alisa A. Seavey (Wayne, PA)

Anna Shumik (Russia)

Dawson White (Waco, TX)


George Durham (Reno, NV)

Larissa Natalia Ferreira De Mattos (Brazil)

Michal Greco (Czech Republic)

Rachel Hsieh (Baltimore, MD)

Rosette Kruisinga (Netherlands)*

Michelle Kwon (Fremont, CA)

Soojung Lee (South Korea)

Charles Pierre (France)

Michal Shein (Boston, MA)

Stephane Tetreault (Canada)


Laszlo Bencze (Hungary)

David Z. George (Cleveland, OH)*

Kurt Hinterbichler (New York, NY)

Devin Howell (Harrisburg, PA)

Gennady Krutikov (Russia)

Hyungtag Lee (Cincinnati, OH)

Joel K. Negus (Cleveland, OH)

Ian Whitman (Canada)


Nina Perlove (Cincinnati, OH)*

Daniel Stein (Bloomington, IN)*


Nicholas Fitton (Cotuit, MA)


Nir Gavrieli (Israel)*

Koichi Osada (Japan)

English Horn

Robert Sicca Aguado (Spain) 


Victor De La Rosa Lorente (Spain)

Soo-Young Lee (Austria)*

Ana Catalina Ramirez Castrillo (Jackson, MS)

Bass Clarinet

Marco Antonio Mazzini Herrera (Belgium)


Wade Coufal (Pearland, TX)

Fabio Gianolla (Italy)*


Anrijs Ivanovskis (Latvia/Sweden)


Lin Jiang (Australia)*

James Stephen Moffat (United Kingdom)

David Barreda Tena (Spain)

Armin Terzer (Italy)


Arnaud Geffray (France)*

Eric D. Moe (Spokane, WA)*

Colin Oldberg (Evanston, IL)


Jonathan J. Brummel (San Francisco, CA)*

Jhon Wilson Gonzalez (Colombia)

Bass Trombone

Johan Wiklund (Sweden)


Andrew Chester (Chicago, IL)*


Owain Alexander Williams (United Kingdom)*


Elliott G. Burris (Charlottesville, VA)

Gael Chabot-Leclerc (Canada)

Patrick Chapman (Clover, SC)

Wai Man Lai (Hong Kong SAR, China)

Maki Takafuji (Japan)


Regina Ederveen (Netherlands)*


Tino Balsamello (Italy)*


Darius Klisys (Lithuania)


Celso Garcia Blanco (Spain)


View the winners’ videos at

View video introductions from members of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. 

Global partners

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra is truly both an online and offline global collaboration.  The project has fired the imaginations of its worldwide participants and encouraged cross-cultural communication and sharing.  Following is a list of classical music artists and leading institutions from around the world that are partners in the project:

Amsterdam Music School

Arnhem Music School


Bamberger Symphoniker

Bangalore Music Association

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Carnegie Hall

Conservatorio Real


Valery Gergiev

G. Schirmer

The Hague Music School

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Imma Shara


Juilliard School of Music

Lang Lang

Liceu Barcelona

London Symphony Orchestra

Moscow Conservatory

National Music Conservatory

New World Symphony

New York Philharmonic

Orchestra Filarmonica

Orchestre de Paris

Orquesta Nacional

Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia

Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

Radio France

Rotterdam Philharmonic

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

San Francisco Symphony

Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra

St. Petersburg State Conservatory

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra

Tan Dun

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Michael Tilson Thomas

William Joseph International Academy

Yale School of Music

Carnegie Hall event information:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 7:30pm


Michael Tilson Thomas, Artistic Advisor and Conductor

(Presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall)

Carnegie Hall: Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

57th Street & Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019

Guest artists:

Mason Bates, composer and DJ

Measha Brueggergosman, soprano

Joshua Roman, cello

Gil Shaham, violin

Yuja Wang, piano

Students from Lang Lang’s International Foundation: Anna Larsen, piano; Charlie Liu, piano; Derek Wang, piano

With soloists, chamber groups, chamber orchestra, large orchestra, electronica, and multi-media, the program samples diverse periods and styles of classical music, including works by Gabrieli, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Villa-Lobos, John Cage, and Tan Dun’s Internet Symphony No. 1 “Eroica”.

Tickets ($25-$50, $20 for students) are on sale now through Carnegie Charge at (212) 247-7800 and

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

For further information, contact:
Kate Berland: [email protected]
Glenn Petry: (212) 625-2038, [email protected]

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