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First YouTube Symphony Orchestra Selected

By Chris V. Thangham     Mar 3, 2009 in Entertainment
The musicians for the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra have been selected by the video site's users. The orchestra will have more than 90 musicians from 30 different countries.

The London Symphony Orchestra plays the Internet Symphony No. 1 "Eroica" - for YouTube, conducted by Tan Dun.
Earlier, YouTube wanted users to submit their videos to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. More than 3,000 videos were submitted by both amateur and professional musicians from 70 countries.
Out of the 3,000 user-submitted videos, musicians from professional orchestras such as London and San Francisco symphonies and the New York, Hong Kong and Berlin philharmonic orchestras selected 200 finalists.
The YouTube viewers then picked 90 musicians from this final list.
Michael Tilson Thomas, the conductor for this YouTube Symphony Orchestra is happy with this selection.
We are excited about the talent, variety and adventurousness of the musicians who are coming together from around the world to form the YouTube Symphony Orchestra...I am looking forward to our exploration of the incredible range of classical music’s 1,200-year-old tradition which we will present in a unique way to our audience.
The selected musicians range in age from 17 to 55 and will play 26 different instruments. They will participate in three days of master classes and rehearsals next month and play in an April 15 concert at Carnegie Hall conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of San Francisco Symphony.
The orchestra will perform composer Tan Dun’s “Internet Symphony No. 1, Erotica”.
YouTube will post their performance on its site also the next day.
Calvin Lee is one of the lucky ones chosen for this orchestra. He is a 37-year-old surgeon in Modesto, California and will probably skip his doctoral duties to perform at the orchestra. Lee told The Hindu:
“The strings on my violin were 15 years old when I first learned of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra and that’s when I realized it was time to get my violin out of the closet...Since then I’ve been practicing, playing and thoroughly enjoying meeting other passionate musicians from across the globe through the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.”
Other winners come from the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.
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