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The YouTube Symphony Orchestra is an orchestra assembled by open auditions hosted by YouTube, the London Symphony Orchestra and several other worldwide partners. Launched on December 1, 2008,[1] it is the first-ever online collaborative orchestra. The open call for entries was until January 28, 2009. Musicians wishing to audition had to post a video of themselves playing the "Internet Symphony No. 1 'Eroica'", by Tan Dun, along with a second talent video of themselves playing a preset audition piece to YouTube. Musicians of all cultures were encouraged to audition, as even if a particular instrument was not specifically scored in the original score, a musician was allowed to simply play a part in the same pitch range as their native instrument. Judges selected finalists and alternates was from January 29 to February 13, 2009 and the finalists were voted on by the YouTube community from February 14 to February 22, 2009[2].

Winners, mostly amateur musicians, were announced on March 2[2], and were invited to travel to New York in April 2009, to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit, and play at Carnegie Hall[3] under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas[1]. As of the concert date 15 million YouTube viewers had watched the audition tapes.[4] The concert featured a series of short pieces that had been rehearsed for several days, as well as guest soloists Joshua Roman, Gil Shaham, Measha Brueggergosman, Yuja Wang, and classical / electronica composer Mason Bates. Three children tutored for the event by pianist Lang Lang played a one piano / six hand arrangement of a Rachmaninoff waltz.[4]

The Tan Dun submissions were compiled into a mashup video premiered at Carnegie Hall on April 15, then hosted on the "YouTube Symphony Channel" as of April 16.


  1. ^ a b "YouTube announces plans for YouTube Symphony Orchestra". New York Post. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2009-04-15.  
  2. ^ a b Smith, Tim (2009-03-03). "Peabody cellist joins YouTube Symphony Orchestra". Baltimore Sun.,0,3037900.story. Retrieved 2009-04-15.  
  3. ^ "YouTube orchestra prepares for Carnegie debut". Reuters. 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2009-04-15.  
  4. ^ a b Martin Steinberg (2009-04-16). "15M hits later, YouTube Symphony makes live debut". Associated Press.  

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