Michael Tilson Thomas has invited young musicians from around the world to take part in a virtual audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.
“Interested in joining the first-ever collaborative online orchestra? Professionals and amateur musicians of all ages, locations and instruments are welcome to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by submitting a video performance of a new piece written for the occasion by the renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). We have tools to help you learn the music, rehearse with the conductor, and upload your part for the collaborative video.
“Send us your talent video performance from a list of recommended pieces. Finalists will be chosen by a judging panel and YouTube users to travel to New York in April 2009, to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit, and play at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.”
Since the project was announced on Dec. 1, the YouTube Symphony site has had more than 10 million hits, and more than 3,000 video submissions from over 70 countries. Some of those were postings of parts of Tan Dun’s “Internet Symphony for YouTube,” which will be worked into a video mash-up and screened at the Carnegie Hall concert. Others were audition videos for the actual orchestra.
Video and virtual auditions, and even competitions, are not new to the classical music world. (The Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, first held in 2002, will have its fifth iteration this summer.) Tilson Thomas has been a pioneer in the field, particularly with his Miami-based New World Symphony, a training orchestra that has been experimenting with master classes, lessons and auditions via Internet. What is new is the assembly of an orchestra in just five months.
One of the finalists, Stephane Tetreault, 15 years of age, plays Bach Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello, Movement 1 Prelude – in audition for the Carnegie Hall performance with the YouTube Orchestra.