Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s RIVERS Festival

Inspired by Music Director Riccardo Muti’s passionate concern for the environment, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) convened in the spring of 2013 a multi-week, multi-genre festival entitled RIVERS: Nature. Power. Culture. During the festival, the CSOA led a conversation among nearly 20 Chicago institutions examining the significance of rivers in music and culture, the impact they have had throughout history and their importance. To see a dedicated website for the RIVERS Festival, click the link below

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

This video news release was used to announce the formation of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance through the 2012 merger of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.  In the video, featured speakers Paul Helfrich, Neal Gittleman, Karen Russo Burke, Tom Bankston, Mike Parks, and Jeremy Trahan give their perspectives on the merger as administrators, artistic directors, funders, and board members.  They discuss how the merger came about, challenges within the process, and what the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance hopes to achieve through this new, blended approach to the performing arts.  The six-minute video was produced by Sam Manavis of ManaVision, Inc.  

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra embarked on its “One City, One Symphony” initiative in the fall of 2012, capturing the imagination of thousands from throughout the region through listening parties, concerts, live video feeds, digital downloads, and radio and television broadcasts. The project garnered huge excitement around the November performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Music Director Designate Louis Langrée. The CSO announced the project to the community in the above video, which features CSO musicians, and ordinary people on the street singing the famous “Ode to Joy” theme while embarking on everyday activities throughout the city. The video has received over 5,900 views on YouTube to-date.

In addition, the Cincinnati Symphony produced a number of short videos, including the one below that captures their subscriber/donor/patron perspectives.  These were produced for a patron appreciation event and will be used throughout the upcoming season.

Empire State Youth Orchestra:  “An invitation to perform at a world expo. . .”  Those eight words launched an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime adventure for members of Empire State Youth Orchestras’ flagship ensemble, led by Music Director and Conductor, Helen Cha-Pyo.  For 12 days, the orchestra toured and performed in Beijing and Shanghai, China, and in Seoul and Yeosu, South Korea. They received standing ovations at Beijing Concert Hall and Shanghai Oriental Arts Center; opened a Korean youth orchestra festival at Seongnam Arts Center in Seoul; brought music to survivors of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) who had been isolated for years on Sorok Island off South Korea’s coast; performed for an international audience at the 2012 World Expo; and, through music, shared a bit of America with soldiers and their families stationed at the US Army’s base in Seoul.  In this video, you’ll follow our musicians as they travel from Albany, NY, and share their music halfway around the world. 

To see the entire 28 minute documentary about their trip to China last summer, please contact Sara Torrey at  

Grant Park Music Festival

This video launched our membership campaign and now lives on the Festival website.  It captures the excitement of a free outdoor festival that serves over 300,000 people each summer in a stunning, state-of-the-art facility in the heart of downtown Chicago. At just under two minutes, the video provides viewers with a taste of the Grant Park Music Festival and directs them to learn more on our website.

Philharmonia Orchestra’s Universe of Sound project

Conduct, play and step inside a virtual Philharmonia Orchestra, joining 132 musicians and Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, performing one of the most spectacular pieces of music ever written. Universe of Sound is a free interactive digital installation, allowing you to explore an orchestra from the inside out as they perform Holst’s The Planets. Using giant visual displays, touch screens, unconventional projecting surfaces, movement-based interaction and planetarium-style projections, you can take part as musicians, conductors, arrangers and composers.

Philharmonia Orchestra’s RE-RITE project

RE-RITE, the Philharmonia Orchestra's Digital Residency, allows members of the public to conduct, play and step inside the Philharmonia Orchestra with Esa-Pekka Salonen through audio and video projections of musicians performing Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. The project shows every section of the Orchestra performing The Rite of Spring simultaneously 'as live'. The public are able to sit amongst the horn players, perform in the percussion section and take up the baton and control sections of the Orchestra as they play.  RE-RITE is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles to be part of the “Rite of Spring” Festival at the Music Center from August 1-11, 2013.

Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra

This video highlights their nationally-recognized SYSO in the Schools: Southwest String Project.  In this partnership with Seattle Public Schools, SYSO provides professional musician/educators to collaborate with public school music teachers at no charge to the schools.  SYSO coaches work in Southwest Seattle, an area of the school district that has had historically low access to arts education due to economic barriers. The coaches teach lessons before school, during school and after school in partnership with a local community orchestra, essentially tripling the amount of instruction for students who otherwise could not afford private lessons. SYSO works in the elementary schools and the middle school into which they feed. This “vertical alignment” approach has led to a tripling of the middle school orchestra over the last four years due to the increased participation in string instrument instruction. 

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA)

YOSA’s pop-up Orchestra strolling through “The Castle”    .  (Rackspace's corporate HQ in San Antonio), singing "Call Me Maybe”. Vocals by Sydney ZumMallen and Alice Frederick. Arranged by Troy Peters.

Wagner’s Jews, a film by Hilan Warshaw

Richard Wagner was notoriously anti-Semitic, and his writings on the Jews were later embraced by Hitler and the Nazis. But there is another, lesser-known side to this story. For years, many of Wagner’s closest associates were Jews—young musicians who became personally devoted to him, and provided crucial help to his work and career.

Who were they? What brought them to Wagner, and what brought him to them? These questions are at the heart of Hilan Warshaw’s documentary Wagner's Jews, co-produced with ARTE and WDR for broadcast in 2013 to mark the bicentenary of Wagner's birth. Filmed on location in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, Wagner's Jews tells these remarkable stories through archival sources, visual re-enactments, interviews, and musical performances.

Parallel to this historical narrative, the film explores the ongoing controversy over performing Wagner’s music in Israel. In a different form, the questions dividing Wagner's Jewish acquaintances still resonate today: is it possible to separate artworks from the hatreds of their creator? Can art transcend prejudice and bigotry, and the weight of history?

Tod Machover, Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s A Toronto Symphony:  Concerto for Composer and City in partnership with the MIT Media Lab

Composer Tod Machover was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to write a new work for its New Creations Festival in March 2013 and invited the entire city to collaborate. Imagined as a musical portrait of Toronto, Machover and the TSO launched A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City in June 2012 and worked in multiple ways to involve Toronto’s residents in every aspect of the project over the following nine months. Communicating via website, blog, Skype, and in-person sessions, Machover collaborated with people of all ages and backgrounds to listen to and record the sounds of Toronto, to trade and shape musical motives and harmonies, and to determine the narrative and dramatic flow of the composition. The work was premiered in March 2013, accompanied by live visuals inside the concert hall as well as the synchronized illumination of Toronto’s CN Tower, with music and visuals streamed live worldwide.

Tod Machover - The Constellation App for "A Toronto Symphony"

CONSTELLATION has been designed especially for A Toronto Symphony by Akito Van Troyer and my team at the MIT Media Lab. Like Media Scores, Constellation lets you take material I have composed for the piece and then reshape, modify, morph and personalize it to create the version that you like best. It has a truly fun -- and, honestly, somewhat addictive -- interface that lets you move the mouse over clouds of bubbles to create "constellations" of beautiful sounds. These constellations are recorded, can be played back, and become your musical "score" made from this material. Learn more at

Philharmonia Orchestra’s “The Orchestra” app for iPad

The Orchestra is an extraordinary new app from Touch Press that will delight anyone with even a passing interest in classical music. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the world-renowned Philharmonia performing extended extracts from eight works representing three centuries of symphonic music.

The app allows real-time selection of multiple video and audio tracks, along with an automatically synchronised score and dynamic graphical note-by-note visualisation of each piece as it is played. The result is an immersive environment for exploring the music and all the instruments of the orchestra.