Google held an open call for musicians from around the world where users were asked to upload video auditions to be judged by a jury of professional musicians from the London Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic. This short list of musicians was then opened up for Youtube viewers to vote on to decide the winners.
Well, the votes are in, and on April 15th over 90 musicians from 30 different countries will be flown to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall for the first ever crowd sourced symphony orchestra, that will be conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony.
The Youtube Symphony Orchestra will be playing “Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica,” by composer Tan Dun (of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero fame). Tan Dun has been providing continuing online video master classes to help prepare the musicians for their upcoming performance, including video of him silently conducting each section of the orchestra and staring directly into the camera.
The project has drawn an amazing amount of interest from participants. After being announced on December 1st nearly 3,000 auditions had been uploaded from 71 countries by February. This seems like a really interesting way to get younger people involved and interested in classical music, as well as pointing out what can be accomplished as technology continues to shrink the size of the globe.