SA musicians invited to audition for YouTube Symphony Orchestra

The “YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011” is looking for South African musicians to audition online for a collaborative orchestra where amateur musicians can share their knowledge and experience of making music with the support of some of the world’s leading classical artists.

Musicians selected for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 will be invited to a week of rehearsals and master classes at an orchestra and summit at Sydney Opera House in March, 2011, culminating in a performance conducted by Grammy Award-winning Michael Tilson Thomas, with the London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, and many other leading institutions and figures of the classical music world.

The 2011 Symphony follows the success of the original YouTube Symphony Orchestra that brought together more than 90 musicians from 30 countries to play at a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall in New York in April, 2009.

The online audition period for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra extends through November 28, 2010. To be considered, musicians from South Africa are invited to upload audition videos of designated pieces to demonstrate their musical and technical abilities.

New this year, a second search for solo improvisers extends the audition process beyond traditional classical instruments and invites musicians of any instrument to submit an original improvisation based on the new composition “Mothership” from composer Mason Bates for the opportunity to play their own solo during the final performance. An expert panel from leading orchestras around the world will narrow entries down to the semifinalists in both audition categories.

The YouTube community will be invited to vote online on the semifinalists from December 10, 2010 through December 17, 2010.

Musicians who are selected from this semifinalist group will be announced on YouTube on January 11, 2010. For official rules of entry and FAQ, consult the YouTube Symphony Orchestra Channel.

In March 2011, selected musicians will be flown to the iconic setting of Sydney Opera House to participate in a week-long classical music summit with leading performers in the field, culminating in a final performance on March 20, 2010, which will be live-streamed on YouTube.

The YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 will further focus on celebrating musical education, from offering online master classes with orchestras around the world, to classes for Australian musicians during our summit week in March. The program also works to bring the creative multi-media and collaborative qualities of YouTube into the classical music world.

Conductor and Artistic Advisor Michael Tilson Thomas said, “We’re exploring how classical music’s 1200-year-long tradition can enter the realm of high technology and what that will mean for its mission and legacy. The YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall was a first step in that process. The YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 at Sydney Opera House will be the next step as we seek to expand beyond the rehearsal room, beyond the concert hall and connect with a global audience.”

“We have a real sense of excitement that the YouTube Symphony Orchestra is living on,” said Ed Sanders, Senior Marketing Manager at YouTube. “This is a magical way to connect and inspire people. Last year we helped fundamentally challenge the norms of an entire industry, and provided a digital meeting place for classical musicians right around the world. In 2011 we want to see how the vibrant online music community, classical and otherwise, collaborates to create something truly special through this project.”

Take a look at the 2010 YouTube Symphony Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky:

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