San Francisco Symphony's Keeping Score Website Nominated for Best Education Site in 14th Annual Webby Awards

Fans can vote online to help win the Web’s top honor

The San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score website has been nominated for Best Education Site in the 14th Annual Webby Awards. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, the Webby Award is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Web.

The website was launched in 2006 and redesigned in 2009 to accompany the SF Symphony’s PBS-TV Keeping Score documentary series, hosted by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. explores the music and stories of some of the world’s most groundbreaking composers. Designed to appeal to high school and college age students and their teachers, also appeals to music lovers of all ages who want to learn more about classical music. Composers Ludwig van Beethoven, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives and Dmitri Shostakovich are featured on the site.

The richly interactive site enables users to follow scores for Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, as explanatory text and graphics unfold in time with the recordings. Exercises and games on the site allow the visitor to manipulate melody, balance, and other musical elements of a particular piece, or to play a simple conducting game led by Tilson Thomas to Stravinsky’s music, among other highlights. also makes use of extensive audio and video to explore the composers’ pertinent musical techniques as well as their personal stories. An historical timeline takes users deep into the composers’ political, social, and cultural worlds. is also a free, deep resource for teachers, and offers free downloadable lesson plans created by educators who have experienced the Keeping Score Education program. The website was developed by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony staff, with the guidance of musicologists and educators, and web development firm Rolling Orange of San Mateo, CA.

Other education sites nominated are Unit 9’s Simple Machines for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry; Aol’s We Choose the Moon; Your Life, Your Money by WNED/; and the National Film Board of Canada’s The YouTube Symphony Orchestra website was also nominated in the Music category. Tilson Thomas was deeply involved in that project, helping choose musicians who auditioned through video on the site, and leading the orchestra’s performance at Carnegie Hall last April.

Webby winners will be announced on May 4 and honored at a star-studded ceremony in New York City on June 14, where they will have an opportunity to deliver one of The Webby Awards’ famous five-word speeches. Past Webby Award winners—and their speeches—include Al Gore (“Please don’t recount this vote.”), Stephen Colbert (“ Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. ”), and Michel Gondry (“Keyboards are full of germs.”).


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