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YouTube Symphony Orchestra : Building a symphony online

YouTube + Google have launched the YouTube Symphony, a place where anyone can audition for Carnegie Hall.

A few other places (including the New York Times) are talking about it:

I initially read it on Andrew Taylor’s blog, The Artful Manager, but there are many other blogs talking about this great contest.
So what is it? According to Jaime Weinman
musicians make videos of themselves playing a particular part in a short piece by the composer Tan Dun. They also make a more standard audition video of themselves playing their usual repertoire. They submit their videos by January 28, and the judges pick the winners. Then YouTube creates a mashup where they combine the winning parts into an “online orchestra,” and then the winners are flown to New York to do a live performance at Carnegie Hall in April under veteran conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.
How did this idea happen? Greg Sandow wrote an interesting article on this and gives us a quick summary:
Two guys at Google came up with the idea (Google owns YouTube), and pitched it to the rest of the company. The rest of the company liked it, so Google went ahead, and found classical music partners to join in the fun.Â
This Washington Post article also gives a nice overview of the contest.
Is this a good idea? Will this water down classical music while bringing it to larger audience? Or will it be a great success?

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