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YouTube Announces ‘YouTube Symphony Orchestra’

YouTube, based in San Bruno, Calif., and a subsidiary of Google Inc., has launched the “YouTube Symphony Orchestra,” a collaborative online orchestra and summit. From December 1, 2008 through January 28, 2009, musicians from around the world are invited to submit videos showcasing their personal style as they perform two different videos—their interpretation of an original Tan Dun composition, written specifically for this program, and a talent video designed to demonstrate their musical and technical abilities.

A panel of musical experts from the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and other leading orchestras around the world will narrow the field of entries down to the semifinalists. The YouTube community will be invited to vote on the semifinalists from February 14, 2009 through February 22, 2009. Musicians who are selected will be announced on YouTube on March 2, 2009.

In April 2009, selected musicians will be flown to New York City to participate in a three-day classical music summit with Michael Tilson Thomas and leading performers in the field, culminating in a Carnegie Hall performance on April 15, 2009. In addition, selected video entries of the musical piece will be mashed together to create a living YouTube symphony—a single video of memorable entrants combined into one ensemble piece—and more entries will be displayed on YouTube home pages around the world.

YouTube states that this is its first sponsored program to welcome submissions from every country around the world.

“The Internet is an invisible Silk Road, joining people from across the world,” says Grammy and Academy Award–winning composer Tan Dun. “Anyone can download a score of my Internet Symphony No. 1:Eroica, pick any part and play it with any instrument or object, in any style. YouTube is the biggest stage on Earth, and I want to see what the world’s undiscovered musical geniuses will create on it.”

For official rules of entry and FAQ, visit the YouTube Symphony Orchestra Channel at