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For Immediate Release


NEW YORK, NY (June 12, 2014)—Khan Academy (, a free educational website that reaches 10 million students per month in 200 countries, is launching a music education program from Music Director Gerard Schwarz and the All-Star Orchestra ( the multi-Emmy-award-winning ensemble comprised of top players from symphony orchestras across America. The collaboration brings, for the first time, classical music to the already widely visited website that teaches math, science, economics, humanities and many other subjects. [Click for the All-Star Orchestra partner content home page.]  

The initial music education offerings cover three topics. The first, “Music Basics: Notes and Rhythm” includes individual lessons about fundamental music structure; the second,  “Masterpieces Old and New” has commentaries and analyses of standard classical repertoire such as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony, Stravinsky’s Firebird and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, as well as new works by composers such as Augusta Read Thomas and Bernard Rands; the third topic is “Instruments of the Orchestra” with demonstrations of each instrument in the orchestra presented by principal players. All musical examples are provided by the All-Star Orchestra, with video footage taken from the nationally broadcast public television series and from ancillary footage made during the original recording sessions. Further tutorials to be added in the coming months include more expositions of classical and contemporary works, and additional lessons in the Music Basics series.  

Music Director Gerard Schwarz said, “As an artist I care deeply about the future of music, and hope for a growing and knowledgeable audience for classical music. Khan Academy is such an important force for education and to have the All-Star Orchestra contribute to Khan Academy’s mission is of great importance to all of us who believe that music education is a core subject that has resonance far beyond the study of music. I so look forward to this collaboration for many years to come.”  

Khan Academy, started by Salman Khan in 2008, is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission of providing a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy provides free online educational materials (e.g., practice exercises, instructional videos, dashboard analytics, teacher tools) that support personalized education for users of all ages in a scalable way. To date, the organization has delivered over 400 million lessons and 2 billion exercise problems. Currently it has 10 million users per month and over 4 million exercise problems completed each day. Khan Academy covers subjects from basic Math to college level Biology and Art History. Khan Academy is expanding its Arts & Humanities content, which includes (in addition to videos, articles and exercises on Art History and History) philosophy videos from Wi-Phi, and now the All-Star Orchestra. Partnerships with art museums including MoMA and the Getty are also strengthening this area.  

“We’re excited to bring All-Star Orchestra’s fantastic classical music tutorials to Khan Academy,” says Salman Khan, Founder & Executive Director of Khan Academy. “The Arts and the history of human creativity are clearly critical parts of education and we’re excited that our learners will have more opportunities to engage with these concepts on our site.”

The All-Star Orchestra is an ensemble comprised of top players from some of the country’s greatest orchestras across the United States including Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Houston, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York (the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Oregon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Utah, Washington D.C., and more. Together these musicians performed on one stage under the leadership of Mr. Gerard Schwarz, who led the Seattle Symphony for 26 years and now serves as its Conductor Laureate. The ensemble is featured on the All-Star Orchestra television series seen nationally on public broadcasting stations. The series has won the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Broadcasting Award and 2 Emmy© Awards in 2014 for Special Event Coverage and Audio Post-Production. The episodes feature classical masterpieces as well as new works from leading contemporary American composers and a brief historical look at the life of the composer at the time he or she was composing that particular work, with interviews and educational commentary by Mr. Schwarz, the All-Star Orchestra musicians, and special guests. The series aims to expose classical music to an even broader audience while keeping the listening experience informative and accessible. Programs from the first season have been released on DVD by Naxos of America and are available from Amazon and other retailers. All episodes are available to stream at, and via the free THIRTEEN Explore iPad App.              

All-Star Orchestra is a co-production of the All-Star Orchestra (John Forsen, executive producer; Paul Schwendener, executive director) and WNET (Stephen Segaller, executive-in-charge; Julie Anderson, executive producer). American Public Television (APT) distributes All-Star Orchestra to public television stations nationwide.  

All-Star Orchestra is made possible by Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, The Gladys Rubinstein Trust, the M.J. Murdock Trust, the Hearst Foundation, Van Ness Feldman LLP, David Gannett, Bruce and Jeanne McNae, Agnes Gund, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and others.  

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