Friday, April 17, 2009

YouTube Symphony Orchestra

The one-of-a-kind YouTube Symphony Orchestra gave its debut on April 15 at New York's renowned Carnegie Hall, with Artistic Advisor and Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas on the podium, and before an enthusiastic, sold-out audience. News coverage – online, in print, and on TV and radio – went around the world in the weeks and days before the concert, which was the brainchild of young staff members at YouTube’s parent, Google, and which was brought to Carnegie Hall and the world stage by a battery of talented people from more than 30 countries.
The unique program featured musical selections ranging from a 16th-century Venetian Canzon by Giovanni Gabrieli – played by two choirs of brasses bracing the stage from first-tier boxes – to two world premieres: Internet Symphony No. 1, “Eroica”, composed for the occasion and conducted by Tan Dun, and Mason Bates’s Warehouse Medicine from The B-Sides, for computer and full orchestra. And the orchestra WAS full – 96 players from 30 countries (4 from Texas!), all of whom earned their places on the Carnegie Hall stage by uploading their auditions to a dedicated page on Google’s gigantic website. A jury of experts selected the finalists, and fans helped decide the winners by voting for their favorites from the auditions posted on YouTube.
A virtual “concert” experience that YouTube titles “The Internet Symphony Global Mashup” is the synchronized performance of Tan Dun’s Internet Symphony as uploaded by many auditioners, featuring those who made it to Carnegie and many others who did not, but brought their unique spirit (and sometimes unique instruments) to the work. It’s had over half a million hits since its debut early in the day of April 15.

The Global Mashup:
Carnegie Hall Concert, Act One:

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