March 4, 2009

CIM Students Win YouTube Symphony Orchestra Appointments

The Cleveland Institute of Music is pleased to announce the appointments of four students and one alumna to the YouTube Symphony, the world's first orchestra selected entirely through on-line auditions. Violinists Alexandra Early (PS student of Paul Kantor) Benjamin Odhner (BM student of Paul Kantor) and Karla Donehew (MM '08, student of Paul Kantor, William Preucil and David Cerone) along with double bass players David George and Joel Negus (both BM students of Jeffrey Bradetich and Maximilian Dimoff) will travel with musicians from 30 countries around the world to New York City to participate in a classical music summit on April 12 -15, concluding with a concert at Carnegie Hall under the direction of the San Francisco Symphony Music Director, New World Symphony Artistic Director and London Symphony Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, April 15.

CIM's students were selected by the global YouTube community and Michael Tilson Thomas from a group of 200 finalists. More than 3,000 video auditions were submitted to the contest since the launch in December. Performers auditioned a portion of a new piece by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon composer, Tan Dun, as well as a talent piece of their choosing.

According to a release from YouTube, Michael Tilson Thomas is looking forward to meeting everyone in person in New York in April. “It has been a remarkably exciting process reviewing the many contributions from around the world. It's been a real window on the lives of music lovers everywhere who have auditioned in their dorms, practice rooms, on stages of neo-classical theaters, apartment house lobbies, on gorgeous Italian fiddles and old upright pianos,” he said.

CIM's President Joel Smirnoff is participating in the project – having assisted Michael Tilson Thomas in the planning and recruitment of musicians to audition. He will continue to work behind-the-scenes; will assist in the preparation of the strings for the concert and along with his fellow Juillliard Quartet members, will participate during the summit in April. The Juilliard has a concert in Alice Tully Hall on the same night as the YouTube concert, so they will not be able to attend the final performance.