Cisco Collaboration Platform Enables Musicians Across the Globe to Try Out for Southbank SinfoniaNovember 18, 2009
LONDON, November 18, 2009 - Southbank Sinfonia, Britain's best-known orchestra of young professional musicians and the country's leading orchestral academy, has for the second consecutive year hosted international auditions for its ensemble using Cisco TelePresenceTM, a technology allowing for life-size, high-definition video collaboration. The auditions were held last week in the Cisco London office.
Over 300 musicians from across the world applied to take part in the auditions, from countries as diverse as Taiwan, Sweden and Canada. Traditionally, musicians would have had to fly to London for the chance to undertake the 15-minute audition at significant cost and time. However, this year, two young musicians in Australia have for the first time auditioned using Cisco TelePresence suites in their own country.
The two Australian musicians performed live, while being assessed in real time by the select panel of judges back in London. This was made possible by the quality of the wideband spatial audio and the clarity of very high-definition video delivered by the Cisco TelePresence technology. As well as reducing the travel costs incurred and time commitment required by the candidates, Cisco TelePresence technology lowered the process's environmental impact.
- The judging panel consisted of Simon Over (co-founder and music director of Southbank Sinfonia), Michael Berman (chairman of Southbank Sinfonia) and Jennifer Nickson (Royal Opera House).
- This year's Cisco TelePresence auditions took place in Sydney, Australia. Last year Cisco TelePresence auditions were held in Scotland, Spain, New Zealand and the United States.
- Cisco is committed to a high level of environmental responsibility in its business operations, culture, products and customer solutions. Cisco's vision is for the power of technology to transform how the world manages its environmental and energy challenges.
- Cisco now has more than 300 TelePresence customers, with some global customer deployments extending beyond 100 units.
- Internally, Cisco has deployed over 650 TelePresence units in more than 200 cities across 45 countries, which has allowed it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from business travel by an estimated 186,786 metric tons.
- Simon Over, music director of Southbank Sinfonia
- Phil Smith, Cisco vice president and chief executive for UK and Ireland
"Southbank Sinfonia is committed to ensuring that the world's most talented and promising players, destined to be the future caretakers of orchestra, are not lost from the profession in the difficult period immediately following their time at music college. Last year Cisco enabled us to bring together performers who might not have been able to audition previously, and its technology has opened up an exciting range of new possibilities. We're delighted to be working with Cisco again this year to help us establish Southbank Sinfonia as an important contributor to musical life in Britain and beyond."
"Cisco believes that technology has the power to transform how the world collaborates and manages its environmental challenges. Businesses across the world are adopting TelePresence technology to do just that, but there are benefits for organisations of all types. Last year Cisco TelePresence opened the opportunity of auditions to young musicians, and this year we are building on that success. Cisco is thrilled to continue its work with Southbank Sinfonia and allow them to overcome the barriers of time, distance and cost whilst minimising its impact on the environment."
- Cisco TelePresence: http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/UK/products/telepresence/index.html
- Southbank Sinfonia website: http://www.southbanksinfonia.co.uk/
Cisco, TelePresence, Video Conferencing, Southbank Sinfonia, Orchestra, collaboration
- Video of this year's audition: http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/UK/casestudies/index.html
- Video of last year's auditions: http://www.cisco.com/web/ES/videos/popup/08-11-12-cisco-telepresencia-concierto.html
- Video of Cisco Expo Germany with opera over Cisco TelePresence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN5jNH5E-38
- Orchestra Conducts International Auditions via Cisco TelePresence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyGtgPAXfi8
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About Southbank Sinfonia
Southbank Sinfonia (SbS) is an orchestra of young professionals and Britain's leading orchestral academy. Unique in Europe, it provides annually an intensive eight-month programme of performance and professional development for 32 exceptional music college graduates. The players (who are supported by bursaries) work with many leading conductors and artists such as Patrons Vladimir Ashkenazy and Sir Thomas Allen on repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary and from chamber music to concerto, opera and ballet.
A distinctive strand of the orchestra's activity is its work playing alongside and being coached by members of leading UK orchestras in particular the Royal Opera House, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and the London Handel Festival. SbS raises over £500,000 each year from individual donors, trusts and corporates, and receives no public funding.