The YouTube Symphony Orchestra hits Sydney

Descending on Sydney this week are 101 musicians from 30 different countries, ranging from 14 to 49 years old. These musicians make up the second iteration of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Originally created for a performance at Carnegie Hall in April 2009, the YouTube Symphony provides an opportunities for amateur and professional musicians to be flown to Sydney for a week of rehearsals and concerts. Culminating in a concert at the Opera House on Sunday night.

The goal behind the YouTube Symphony is to provide talented musicians from any background or walk of life access to leaders of the classical musical world. This year it is being lead by Grammy award-winning conductor and Artistic Advisor, Micheal Tilson Thomas, most recently known for his work with the San Fransisco Symphony and the recipient of the American National Medal of the Arts.


The performers were chosen from more than 3,000 people who applied through the YouTube audition process. The Audition consisted of two categories; the classical category involved submitting a video of a performance from a list of works listed by YouTube according the the specific instrument. New for this year there was also a Solo Improvisers category in which all performers, regardless of the instrument they were playing, performed an original improvisation over the new piece, Mothership, by Mason Bates. After submission an expert judging panel made up of musical experts and representatives from the London Symphony Orchestra short listed the applicants which were then voted on by the YouTube community with the final decision left up to the Artistic Advisor.

Performers were flown in this week and treated to an afternoon on the harbour before they got stuck into work. Leading up to the finale on Sunday night they will spend the week rehearsing and performing, including ensemble concerts at the opera house and the Conservatorium of Music as well as an improv session at The Basement Night Experience.

For more information or to watch a live stream of the final concert you can visit


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Matt Edwards

Matt is a past owner of AussieTheatre, working as digital director from 2011 to 2019. He is also a performer, most recently appeared in the Australian tour of Mamma Mia! and previously in the Australian/NZ tour of CATS and Enda Markey's acclaimed production of Blood Brothers. As well as performing Matt keeps himself busy in the digital side of the arts working with web design agency Emptyhead Digital

Matt Edwards

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