YouTube Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble

Michael Tilson Thomas

You all may have heard of this, but if you haven't, YouTube back in 2009 and 2011 jump-started an amazing idea as the internet continued to advance rapidly, called the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. This idea was to bring young musicians from around the world under one roof for a spectacular concert of new music and standard orchestral repertoire. YouTube worked closely with many notable musicians, including conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra), and composers, Mason Bates (2011) & Tan Dun (2009). What's even more amazing is that some of the world's major symphony orchestras participated in coaching in-person as well as providing online masterclass videos via YouTube. The two orchestras that worked with YTSO were the London Symphony Orchestra (2009) and Berlin Philharmonic (2011). 2009 may have been the first time that an orchestra concert was ever live-streamed!

Mason Bates

At first, I thought the orchestra was going to be an above-average group of musicians when I first heard of the idea, but then after hearing the first concert, I was very impressed, and found myself extremely wrong assuming such a thing. It comprised of extremely qualified, high-level, musicians from places like the Paris Conservatory and Curtis Institute of Music--this was the real deal!

Tan Dun

In the first video below, you may recognize some familiar, younger looking faces whose careers have blossomed or are continuing to gain popularity. Sarah Willis (horn, Berlin Philharmonic) was a huge help in working closely with the YTSO brass musicians as well as leading its brass ensemble. You will also see a young David Cooper playing in the principal chair of YTSO, who has recently won the principal horn position with the Berlin Philharmonic. It still boggles my mind that this group is made up of the world's young and highest-level musicians from all parts of the world. 


YTSO Brass Ensemble 2011 - Fanfare for the Vienna Philharmonic


YTSO Brass Ensemble 2009 - Canzon Semptimi toni No. 2

This video from 2009, in my opinion, was not the greatest performance, but it was still cool to hear this piece performed regardless of it being a little sloppy.

YTSO Brass Ensemble 2011 - Waltzing Matilda


YTSO Brass Ensemble 2011 w/ Cameron Carpenter - Grand Choeur Dialogue

I wasn't much of a fan with this video because I think Cameron Carpenter took a little too much time improvising, but here's this video as well!