April 16, 2009

YouTube Symphony Orchestra - A window to the future?

I've been following the coming together of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra since it was announced early December last year. Conceived by Timothy Lee, a product marketing manager at Google, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra was an attempt to "crowdsource" classical musicians from all over the world to perform Chinese composer Tan Dun's Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica. Tan Dan is the Oscar-winning composer of the score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The above video explains the process. YouTube posted sheet music for individual pieces along with instructions on the Internet. Individualized segment videos featuring Tan conducting each part were also made available. Auditions were accepted until January 28th. A panel of experts from various high-profile orchestras reviewed all entries and shortlisted them to a more manageable number, and the YouTube community voted their favorite semifinalists between February 14 and February 22. After over 3,000 auditions of musicians from 70 countries, winners were announced on March 2nd. Selected orchestra was flown to New York City in early April by Google for a three-day summit with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, after which they played at Carnegie Hall on April 15.

Below is the video mashup of the final performance:

Act One of the final performance is below:

This was a first-of-its-kind, global collaborative project that promotes classical music, unfortunately a dying art form.

Is this a window to the future of how creative content can be developed leveraging technology & Internet?

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