YouTube Announces Launch of “YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011” Culminating in a Performance at Sydney Opera House

With Michael Tilson Thomas, London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Sydney Symphony, and Other Leading Institutions & Figures of Classical Music World

After a sold-out performance last year at Carnegie Hall, YouTube opens online auditions for a second global collaborative orchestra to perform at a week-long summit at Sydney Opera House in March 2011.

YouTube™ today announced a collaboration with Sydney Opera House, Grammy Award-winning conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, the London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, and many other leading institutions and figures of the classical music world, to launch the "YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011", a global online audition for a collaborative orchestra where amateur musicians can share their knowledge and experience of making music with the support of some of the world’s leading classical artists. Musicians selected for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 will be invited to a week-long classical music summit of rehearsals, concerts, and master classes at Sydney Opera House in March 2011, culminating in a performance conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

The announcement at synchronized events at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House follows the success of the original YouTube Symphony Orchestra, which, after thousands of global submissions, brought more than 90 musicians from 30 countries to play a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall in April, 2009.

The online audition period for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 opens October 12, 2010, and auditions extend through November 28, 2010. To be considered, musicians from around the world are invited to upload audition videos of designated pieces to demonstrate their musical and technical abilities. New this year, an additional search for solo improvisers brings a further dimension to the project, beyond traditional classical instruments, and invites further online collaboration. For the solo improviser audition, musicians may submit an original improvisation, on any instrument, based on the new composition “Mothership” by composer Mason Bates for the opportunity to play their own solo during the final performance. An expert panel drawn from leading orchestras around the world will narrow entries down to the semifinalists in both audition categories. The YouTube community will then be invited to vote online from December 10, 2010 through December 17, 2010. Musicians who are selected from this semifinalist group will be announced on YouTube on January 11, 2011. For official rules of entry and FAQ, consult the YouTube Symphony Orchestra channel.

In March 2011, selected musicians will be flown to the iconic setting of Sydney Opera House to participate in a week-long classical music summit with leading performers in the field, culminating in a final performance on March 20, 2011, which will be live-streamed on YouTube. The YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 will further focus on celebrating musical education, offering online master classes with orchestras around the world and classes for Australian musicians during the summit week in March. The program also works to bring the creative multi-media and collaborative qualities of YouTube into the classical music world. It aims to use the inherent democracy of the Internet to offer musicians around the world — whether professional, aspiring, or retired — an opportunity to play at Sydney Opera House.


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