YouTube global orchestra plays in New York

16th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

A total of 96 musicians from 33 countries who sent their entries through YouTube won a plane ticket, a three-day stay in New York and the opportunity to perform in the city's prestigious Carnegie Hall.

NEW YORK – A symphony orchestra composed of 96 musicians from 33 countries chosen online via YouTube won applause Wednesday in New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall.

They ranged in age from 15 to 55 years old and came from as far as Australia, South Korea, Russia, Sweden, Israel and Cuba – with the notable exception of Muslim and African countries.

The selection, made by San Francisco Symphony Orchestra director Michael Tilson Thomas, involved more than 3,000 auditions of musicians from 70 countries who sent their entries through the video sharing website YouTube since December.

The chosen 96 won a plane ticket and a three-day stay in New York to participate in various gatherings at The Juilliard School of music and in the Carnegie Hall concert.

"This is at the same time a classical concert, a summit, a scout jamboree and a speed date," Tilson Thomas said.

Colombian trombonist John Wilson Gonzalez, 27, told AFP the concert was a "marvellous experience."

"It was unimaginable that I could get to play in Carnegie Hall, a mythical theatre where only the great musicians play," added Gonzalez, the principal trombonist of the symphony orchestra of Caldas, in Colombia's coffee growing region.

"There are musicians from all over the world – professionals, amateurs, students. I don't know what sort of level it will be, but it's been really interesting."

At his side, 30-year-old Manuel Ramos, a Mexican from Monterrey, shared Gonzalez's enthusiasm.

"I am a professional violinist but I do not play classical music, but rather jazz, gypsy music. But there was an opportunity to participate in the contest and here I am. It's impressive what you can do when people get together like this. It's lovely," he said.

The concert program included works by Bach, Mozart, Villa Lobos, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Lou Harrison, John Cage, and contemporary Chinese composer Tan Dun's Internet Symphony No. 1 "Eroica," which was created especially for the occasion.

"From the first rehearsal, on Monday, the orchestra sounded really good," said Pierre Charles, a 27-year-old French cellist, who also studies physics at Jussieu University in Paris and wants to be an astronomer.

"I was astonished because I thought it would take a lot longer to get ready," he said. "The sound was right straight away."

Koichi Osada, an amateur oboist from the Japanese city of Yokohama, said "this event will help people to become more familiar with classical music, even people who have not been interested in classical music.

"I hope all the people will listen to the video created after the concert," he added.

AFP / Expatica

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