YouTube Symphony Orchestra Meets for the First Time in NYC
3 Apr 2009
Interchanging Idioms

Michael Tilson Thomas and a dozen mentors to work and rehearse with participants

"For me the YouTube Symphony is one of the most exciting things to happen to classical music in my lifetime.”
--mentor Ian Bousfield of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Artistic Advisor and Conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, will meet for the first time in New York City April 12-15, 2009 for a global classical music summit at the Juilliard School . These talented musicians will participate in master classes with world-renowned musicians, rehearse together, and share in each other’s diverse experiences and backgrounds. The summit culminates in a concert event at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 PM. More than 90 musicians from 30 different countries are participating in the world’s first orchestra selected entirely through online auditions.

“I am very pleased that so many excellent artists will be joining our exploration with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.” said Michael Tilson Thomas, Artistic Advisor and conductor of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, as well as 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. “This is an adventure for all of us.”

“We’re delighted that this innovative project is generating such tremendous interest in music and musicians. The Juilliard School is happy to host this international gathering of participating musicians and distinguished mentors as they rehearse and prepare for the concert.” - Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi

A dozen mentors are scheduled to participate in the summit. "For me the YouTube Symphony is one of the most exciting things to happen to classical music in my lifetime,” said Ian Bousfield, a British trombone player with the Vienna Philharmonic who will also perform alongside YTSO members in the April 15 concert at Carnegie Hall. “The chance to bring musicians from all areas and backgrounds throughout the whole world together to help and share is incredible.”

Joel Smirnoff, Juilliard Quartet violinist and President of the Cleveland Institute of Music, is another summit mentor. "The YouTube Symphony is the most ambitious attempt at something we have all been wishing for: the veritable surge of interest in classical music on the Web among young people around the world is, firstly, recognized and then, in some way, translated into real human interaction and live music making,” said Mr. Smirnoff. “What better place to meet off the Web than Carnegie Hall?”

Principal Bassoonist of the San Francisco Symphony, Stephen Paulson, will also serve as a mentor and perform in Carnegie Hall. “The kind of online communication I have been experiencing through the YouTube Symphony Orchestra project is exciting, but there is no substitute for live collaboration among musicians. Our job is to bring together the enormous talents of individual musicians from around the world, and in three days perform as though we have been together for years. This is challenging and it's great fun!”

The summit includes an open-microphone event for members of the orchestra at the nightclub Le Poisson Rouge in New York City ’s Greenwich Village. Free and open to the public, the free-form show begins at 10:00 PM on Tuesday, April 14. For information, visit

The next night, April 15, the orchestra will perform in Carnegie Hall. The program features guest artists, chamber ensembles, large orchestra, electronica and multimedia, with music from Gabrieli to Tan Dun’s Intern et Symphony No. 1 “Eroica,” written for this occasion. A video mashup of the work, created from selected video entries, will be posted on the YouTube Symphony channel: Tickets ($25-$50; $10 for students) are on sale now through Carnegie Charge at (212) 247-7800 and


Beethoven: Trio for Piano and Strings no 7 in B flat major, Op. 97 "Archduke"
Brahms: Sextet for Strings no 1 in B flat major, Op. 18
Bloch: Quintet for Piano and Strings no 1
Mozart: Don Giovanni, K 527
Bartók: Concerto for Violin no 2, Sz 112/BB 117
Beethoven: Symphony no 6 in F major, Op. 68 "Pastoral"
Stravinsky: Pulcinella
Martin: Ballade for Flute
Griffes: Poem for Flute and Orchestra
Milhaud: Le boeuf sur le toit, Op. 58

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