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YouTube users are invited to nominate participants for the online collaborative orchestra’s April 2009 summit at Carnegie Hall

Videos from 200 Finalists are posted on www.YouTube.com/Symphony

February 16, London: It’s Election Time! YouTube™ announced today that the public is invited to vote for the musicians who they think should perform in the world’s first online collaborative orchestra, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, and convene in a classical music summit at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in April. Since the launch of this groundbreaking initiative in December 2008, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s channel on YouTube has more than 10 million channel views worldwide with visitors from countries around the world. More than 3,000 videos from musicians from Azerbajian to Venezuela submitted video performances. These participants, consisting of professional and amateur musicians of all ages and instruments, are from more than 70 countries and territories on six continents. There are 5 UK based musicians who have made it to this crucial stage.

Following a preliminary screening by a judging panel of orchestral experts from the London Symphony Orchestra and the orchestras of Berlin, Hong Kong, Sydney, New York and others, 200 finalists have been chosen for the YouTube community to vote on at www.youtube.com/symphony. The public voting period will end February 22nd. Then the YouTube Symphony Orchestra Artistic Advisor and Conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas will review the finalists and the YouTube community voting results and make the final decision to create a cohesive symphony orchestra.

Those participants selected to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra will be announced on March 2nd and invited to travel to New York to participate in a collaborative summit for classical music April 12th-15th. They will perform in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.

“It’s astonishing to see so many talented people being inspired to follow for their dream of performing music, not just on stage but to a global audience via YouTube. To know we have played a part in this is an incredible feeling,” said Chaz Jenkins, London Symphony Orchestra.

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra marks the first program on YouTube that has welcomed submissions from every country in the world and the channel has been translated into 16 different languages. YouTube.com/symphony is also a classical music channel inside YouTube where musicians can collaborate and become a virtual ensemble.

Star artists and harmony on a global scale:

Celebrity star artists such as Chinese pianist Lang Lang, the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra Global Ambassador, founding composer Tan Dun, composer of “Internet Symphony No. 1- Eroica” (a piece specially arranged for this occasion), and YouTube Symphony Orchestra Artistic Advisor and Conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, have endorsed the project and encouraged participation. More than 3,000 videos were submitted from musicians from Azerbajian to Venezuela of “Internet Symphony No. 1- Eroica”. Selected videos will be compiled into a mashup video, which will premiere at Carnegie Hall on April 15th and on YouTube.com beginning April 16th.

“YouTube is the biggest stage on Earth, and I want to see what the world’s undiscovered musical geniuses will create on it,” said Dun, the Academy Award-winning composer of the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

Changing the face of the classical music audience:

YouTube’s innovative and groundbreaking project is attracting and changing the face of the classical music audience. Nearly 40% of the 10 million views on the YouTube Symphony Orchestra channel are from people between 13-24 years of age. The platform provides a place for musicians of all ages to flourish, share their creativity and broadcast themselves.

The public voting period for participants in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra is from February 14th – to 22nd. Go to www.youtube.com/symphony and vote now!

To speak with the UK finalists please contact press-uk@google.com

Listen & view their auditions here: