Why classical music and YouTube are a great combo

youtube symphony orchestra

Last year YouTube started a new initiative called The YouTube Symphony Orchestra (YSO). The idea was that professional musicians as well as skilled hobbyists could send in an audition YouTube video. The chosen ones formed The YouTube Symphony Orchestra and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Picture that, an orchestra formed entirely out of people that have auditioned on YouTube and don’t know each other at all! How could that work?

Well, it did work, in fact, it was such a huge success that this year they’re doing it again. People from all over the world have auditioned for a spot in the YSO. From a German guy playing a vuvuzela, to a Brazilian electric guitarist to the ‘standard’ violin, chello etc. players. Votes as well as an expert panel decided on the winners. The winners have been 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 Michael Tilson Thomas (Source: ibtimes.com)

According to Mashable, Ed Sanders, YouTube’s Group Marketing Manager states: ” Usually [an audition] is done behind a curtain. With our partners, we wanted to challenge that.” He continues by saying: ” If you have the skill and a webcam, you should be able to give it a crack”

Online Classical Music Community

I was really excited to see that this initiative didn’t stop at an orchestra performing somewhere, just once. The goal of the YSO is actually to open up classical music to a new, curious community.

What they did was, provide online master classes, improvisations, musician profiles and human interest stories to keep visitors of the site interested and provide them with new and useful information about classical music.

The master classes are mostly geared to people that actually play the instrument

But the improvs are just fun to watch

The Experiment – Play music through your webcam

One thing I really like about this site is the fact that they’ve also made it really interactive by adding ‘ Experiment’. Experiment allows anyone with a webcam and a photo or a printout of a specific QR code to play music. All you have to do is wave the code in front of your webcam and start experimenting!

My thoughts?

Personally, I think this is a great initiative by YouTube. It just goes to show, that just because classical music is perceived as ‘old’ it doesn’t mean it can’t keep up with the times!

I think it’s a very creative way to get people back in touch with some of the classics. What do you think?