Eastman School of Music sophomore Nicholas Fitton has been named a winner in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra Project and will be flown to New York City next month to participate in a classical music summit and a live performance in Carnegie Hall.
Fitton will perform the piccolo part in composer Tan Dun’s “The Internet Symphony” under renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas on April 15. During the three-day summit leading up to the concert, Fitton and other orchestra members also will have the opportunity to meet with Tan Dun and members of the London Symphony.
The YouTube Symphony Orchestra is described as the world’s first collaborative online orchestra. The project has two components: the creation of an online symphony performance from video submissions, and the summit and live performance in Carnegie Hall. Finalists for the live performance were selected by a panel of experts from leading orchestras based on their audition vidoes, and members of the YouTube community were invited to vote for their favorites to go to New York City. Fitton, a flute major from Cape Cod, Mass., was among the finalists announced last month.
At Eastman, Fitton studies flute with Bonita Boyd and piccolo with Anne Harrow. He performs with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Wind Orchestra, and the Aqua Winds Quintet.
Fitton was not the only Eastman finalist competing for a spot in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Eastman Community Music School student Harvest Zhang was selected as a piano finalist. The winner for the position was a pianist from Italy. Zhang, 16, competed in the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition in August 2008. Last year he also appeared on NPR’s From the Top, a weekly series showcasing top young classical musicians around the country. A Brighton resident, Zhang has won numerous competitions, including the MTNA Baldwin Piano Competition of New York State, the Ithaca National Piano Competition, and the Equinox Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. As winner of the 2007 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, Zhang was among those who were selected to play in Carnegie Hall.
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